Putrajaya today announced ceiling prices for RON95 petrol and diesel of RM2.05 and RM2.15 per litre, as part of a series in a fresh five-pronged initiative worth RM20 billion.
In a special live address to detail Pemerkasa, the Malay acronym for the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and the Economy, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the decision was made in view of the rising trend in global oil prices.
“The government currently bears a subsidy at a rate of almost 30 sen per litre.
“This means that the government is bearing a total subsidy worth RM3 billion based on current prices,” he said.
Fuel prices in Malaysia fluctuate weekly based on the Automatic Pricing Mechanism (APM) formula introduced in 2017.
Currently, the retail price for RON95 is RM2.05. Diesel is priced at RM2.15 while the more premium RON97 petrol is at RM2.47, up seven sen from last week.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said the government subsidises almost half the price of cooking gas.
He said the actual price of a 14kg cylinder of cooking gas is RM50 although these are currently retailed at RM26.60.
“The government will continue to provide the subsidy so that the prices of daily necessities remain affordable,” he said.
The main focus of Pemerkasa is on containing the Covid-19 pandemic, accelerating the restoration of the economy, strengthening the country’s competitiveness and ensuring inclusivity in the distribution of government aid.
Among others, Muhyiddin announced an additional RM2 billion for the Covid-19 vaccination programme, bringing the total allocation to RM5 billion.
He said the move was to ensure the acceleration of the campaign in order to achieve herd immunity by December this year, earlier than the original target of the first quarter of 2022.
He said some 15,000 officers would be sent to 950 vaccination centres nationwide.
He also announced that the special monthly cash assistance of RM200 will be extended to all government officers involved in the immunisation campaign.
The prime minister likewise announced a series of incentives including tax exemptions for employers participating in the government’s Safe@Work programme to encourage better living amenities for workers.
Meanwhile, a total RM1.2 billion in cash will be distributed to 2.4 million recipients, including a one-off payment of RM500 to those in the B40 economic category who have lost their jobs.
Recipients of the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat earning less than RM1,000 will also get an additional RM500.
“Both these categories involve recipients aged 21 to 60 years and do not have to involve any application registration process,” Muhyiddin said, adding that verification of their job status will be made through the Inland Revenue Department, Employees Provident Fund and Socso.