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Jun 8, 2008

Shahrir against fuel price increase during rebate period

sun2surf - [...] Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad June 8 spoke against increasing fuel prices further during the period when the RM625 cash hand-out is in force.
Replying to a question during a press conference after the opening of the Malay Contractors Association of Penang annual general meeting here, Shahrir said it is more practical to stick to the current prices while the rebate scheme is running.

The cash hand-out is given to those whose road tax is valid from April 1 this year to March 31 next year. This means that those who renew their road tax at the post office in that time gets the money.
Shahrir's statement seems to run counter to the announcement last Wednesday by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that a special committee will review fuel prices every month in line with with volatile world crude oil market prices.

Abdullah had said that despite the review, any price fixed will still contain a 30-sen discount element as subsidy.

However, Shahrir said the government is not an impractical one to resort to price reviews while still in the midst of the rebate scheme as it will mean that the people will have to pay more for petrol but still get the same amount in rebate.

He said this being the first year the government is implementing such a rebate scheme, there may be some weaknesses in implementation which will be improved in the second year.

Shahrir also said the government is looking at a quota system using the MyKad whereby the MyKad will be used like a fleet card where consumers can get their rebate when purchasing petrol.

On last week's move to up petrol price by 78 sen, Shahrir said it will bring about savings of around RM14 billion which can be channelled for other developments.

"Even if the international crude oil prices were to go up, we will still be able to manage it," he said confidently when asked if the government may be forced to review the price again if world prices touched US$200 (RM658) per barrel as predicted by analysts.... selanjutnya.


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