Thursday, June 5, 2008


Lower income earners Won’t be burdened: Minister


The restructured subsidy system will not burden people from the lower income category but the higher income group might have to pay more in the Government’s efforts to counter the challenges posed by the increased prices of commodities. Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the Government was confident of overcoming the challenges after having faced even more serious crises and will ensure that the implementation of the subsidy mechanism will not bring about an outcry from the public. He said an outcry can happen only if the lower income group ends .up having to pay RM200-RM300 more for oil without any assistance given. “But if the Government can ensure that this group does not pay more because of the rise in oil price, and comes up with the best solution for them, I am certain that there will not be any outcry,” he said during RTM l’s “Bersemuka Dengan Media” programme aired here on Tuesday evening. The current economic scenario in the country was the topic discussed during the one-hour programme. The media guests on the programme were Editor-in-Chief of Bernama, Yong Soo Heong and Blogger Ahiruddin Atan. Nor Mohamed said the restructuring was also important to ensure that irresponsible parties do one misuse the subsidies especially for smuggling purposes. On calls that Petronas income is used for subsidy, he said that it will not be a responsible thing to do considering that Petronas will not be making profits forever and that by 2014, the country will no longer be an oil exporting nation. “The Government is of the opinion that Petronas’ profits be used for the future of the coming generation,” he said. Nor Mohamed stressed that the Government will continue to be steadfast in its responsibility of providing subsidy especially in the health and education sectors. The Government has been entrusted to manage the economy not only for the 27 million people in the country but also for the coming generations, he said. - Bernama