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Friday, February 25, 2011

Government To Maintain Present RON 95 And Diesel Prices

Government To Maintain Present RON 95 And Diesel Prices

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 (Bernama) -- The government will maintain the current fuel price for RON 95 at RM1.90 and diesel at RM1.80 despite the escalating global oil price, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Thursday.

It will instead discuss with the Finance Ministry for alternatives to cushion the increase, he said.

"The government will retain current prices and look at other options or alternatives even if the government's load increases.

"So far the situation can be handled without raising the price of RON 95 and diesel," the minister told reporters after announcing Bank Rakyat's annual financial results here.

He said the budget allocated for subsidy this year was RM10.3 billion and if the price trend continued, this could reach up to RM14 billion.

The RM10.3 billion subsidy covers petroleum, RON 95, diesel, LPG gas, sugar, rice and cooking oil.

Last December, the prices of RON 95 and diesel price were each increased five sen to RM1.90 and RM1.80 per litre respectively.

On the alternatives being looked at, he said there would be a review on the petrol and diesel quotas received by certain parties.

Asked when both ministries would finalise the discussion, he said decisions would be made as soon as possible.

"It won't take long. The more time is taken, the higher the amount of subsidy the government would have to bear," he added.

He said as an importer of food products, the country would also have to bear the increase in the prices of imported food products.

Commenting on whether prices for other subsidised products would be increased since the fuel price would not be hiked, Ismail Sabri said the government was not looking to increase the prices of other subsidised products.

"Effective Feb 1, subsidy has been stopped for all factories producing food products and drinks using 500 metric tonnes of sugar a month.

"The government would be able to save RM128 million," he said.

-- BERNAMA

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