Pemuda calls for gradual diesel subsidy cuts

UMNO Youth suggests the government should withdraw diesel subsidies in stages, rather than the sudden withdrawal currently being implemented.

The proposal suggested diesel subsidy withdrawals to be made at a minimum rate of 10 per cent or 20 cents until the initial challenges are addressed.

Its chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh, said although they support the subsidy restructuring policy, larger periodic subsidy withdrawals can only be implemented after the current economic returns are stable.

“The announcement of the full withdrawal of diesel subsidies starting today has brought about various feelings and reactions.

” We are of the view and suggest that the withdrawalshould be done periodically and not entirely.

“The effect of this withdrawal will cause diesel prices to rise abruptly from RM2.15 to RM3.35, an increase of RM1.20 per liter.

“This significant increase will certainly have an impact on the current economy and the public,” he said.

Finance Minister II Amir Hamzah Azizan said,whether the diesel price without subsidies changes or not will be announced every Wednesday as the current practice.

Meanwhile, Akmal said the economic impact on consumers cannot be avoided due to the diesel subsidy reduction even though the government implements targeted subsidy payments.

He said the implementation of cash subsidy payments is still in its early stages, thus creating unavoidable problems including approval of applications and overlooking the needy.

Akmal also said they did not want the subsidy restructuring policy to bring more harm to people.

“Generally, the Umno Youth supports the subsidy restructuring policy and it was also proposed by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government, although strongly opposed at that time.

“We understand the greater need in nation-building efforts, but at the same time, let the withdrawal of subsidies be done periodically to avoid sudden economic shocks,” he said.