Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Fuel subsidies review for transport companies


Current fuel subsidies quota for transport companies will be reviewed soon. Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop in disclosing this, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had directed a review on the existing limitations on the quota for transport firms, urging the relevant Ministries to increase the quotas. He said this at a press conference after officially opening the 2nd Chief Executive Officers Conference here, representing Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, yesterday. Nor Mohamed was asked about grouses by transport firms here that only a portion of their vehicles fleet were entitled to fuel subsidies. Transport company owners said only about 30 per cent to 40 per cent of their vehicles were entitled to the subsidies and they were thus forced to buy fuel for the other vehicles in their fleet at market price. They said this precipitated the need for them to raise their fares following the hike in petrol and diesel prices. On priorities of the 2009 Budget, Nor Mohamed said improving public transportation in towns and rural areas will be among the proposals. He said improvements in the urban public transportation system is a particularly pressing need as a prerequisite to improve productivity as many man hours were lost with workers stuck in traffic jams. He said the Government’s priority for Sabah and Sarawak is upgrading electricity and water supplies apart from the construction of new roads and schools. “The Prime Minister has said he does not want to see anymore hardcore poor in the country in the next few years,” he said.