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Jun 6, 2008

Shahrir: 'Help fight price increases'

sun2surf - [...] Admitting that the government is expecting a chain reaction to the new petrol price of RM2.70 a litre and RM2.58 for diesel, Shahrir told theSun his ministry is now monitoring price movements on the ground, so that drastic price hikes can be audited.

"Enforcement officers will be making inspection and I hope the public and the media will also highlight drastic increases. We can do, and will do an audit, for any business.

"We can ask the trader to do a list of his costs and if the trader’s new prices are not justified, we will advise him or her to adjust it," he said.

Shahrir said by right, there should be no increase at all because "first of all, in terms of transportation of goods, we are still maintaining fleet card system subsidies for all heavy vehicle classes registered with us including lorries and buses".

He said there are 99,375 lorries registered with the ministry.

However, when told a packet of nasi lemak has gone up by up to 30sen, Shahrir said: "There will be people raising their prices because they had to manage with, say, the increase in rice prices, and they will take advantage of the new fuel price as an excuse for the increase. However, they should not use petrol as the reason and they should be more truthful about why they had to raise their prices."

He said another reason why prices should be maintained is that the price for liquefied petroleum gas has not gone up.

The new subsidy plan, he said, provided for people to think and plan carefully on how to spend on petrol.

Resources are never infinite, he reminded, adding that this was one of the reasons the consumer associations had agreed to the new subsidy structure.

"They knew it was a depleting resource, there was over-utilisation and the subsidy then was not based on usage so there was no limit on the subsidies you can use.... selanjutnya.


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