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Govt mulls fixing minimum petrol price

PUTRAJAYA, 11 Nov 2008: The government does not dismiss the possibility of fixing a minimum retail price for petrol and diesel despite the declining price of oil in the world market.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said this would help the government save on subsidy and that the money could be used to generate the economy.

He said the oil rebate payout was expected to reach RM5 billion and the 30 sen subsidy for each litre of petrol was expected to reach RM18 billion, a big burden for the nation.

“It is up to the weekly economic council exco meeting to decide. We will discuss the basis for stopping the subsidy,” he told reporters at Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here today.

Shahrir however declined to say when the minimum retail price would be implemented and the price to be fixed.

“We were used to RM1.92 per litre. The question is do we want to reduce the petrol price to below RM1.92. The low oil price will not be good for the economy if there are no projects to spur growth,” he said.

Asked whether the petrol price would dip below RM2 per litre by year end, the minister said based on the current world price of crude oil it would not be difficult.

He said the low petrol price should not stop the people from being thrifty when spending.

At the function, Shahrir presented the ethical business excellence award 2008 to Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

Other winners were Bukit Kiara Properties, Kuala Lumpur (large company), Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (medium company) and Pusat Tuisyen Sri Wirajaya, Kuala Lumpur (small company). — Bernama


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