KUALA LUMPUR: The total amount of subsidies is expected to reach near RM80bil this year, which is the largest amount in history, says Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
In the 100th People’s Financial Report released Sunday (June 26), he said to reduce inflationary pressures on the people, the government has provided various consumption subsidies consisting of petrol, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), cooking oil, flour and electricity.
“Overall, the projected consumption subsidies expenditure for 2022 is the highest amount of subsidies in history ever borne by any government.
“When added with other assistance such as social welfare assistance, agricultural assistance, fishermen and so on, the total subsidies are expected to be close to RM80bil for 2022, which is the largest amount of subsidies in history,” he said.
However, he said the government continued to implement policies that in general aimed at curbing inflation to avoid excessive price increases and at the same time, helped those in need in terms of direct assistance.
He said the policy is seen to have produced a situation that is considered controllable, especially when compared to other countries.
“A study on the holistic cessation of subsidies and the re-channelling of those savings to those in dire need is part of the government’s strategy to ensure the country’s fiscal sustainability in the medium and long term,” he said.
Tengku Zafrul said large amounts of government funds have been spent to address the impact of the pandemic, including saving people’s lives through national vaccination programmes as well as maintaining employment and business capacity through wage subsidy programmes.
He said in an effort to rebuild the country’s funds and fiscal resilience, the holistic cessation of subsidies reflected the government’s fair and responsible attitude in ensuring the fate of the B40 group is safeguarded.
The minister said the ministry is also reviewing the country’s fiscal resources that needed to be strengthened to rebuild Malaysia’s socio-economic resilience, especially for the B40 and M40 groups.
“This government’s foresight also aims to reduce the indebtedness of our children and grandchildren in the future,” he said.
The report also showed that a total of 92 companies had applied for the Danajamin Prihatin guarantee scheme (DPGS) as of June 10, of which, the total guarantee approved was RM2.08bil for 61 companies.
For the wage subsidy programme, the government in total has channelled more than RM20bil to more than 350,000 employers to maintain the employment of nearly three million local workers in an effort to reduce the unemployment rate.
Under the wage subsidy programme 4.0, a total of RM2.555bil has been channelled to 163,431 employers to continue operating and maintain employment for 1,916,733 employees as at June 10.
A total of RM183.123mil was channelled to 7,385 employers to continue operating and maintain employment for 105,300 employees under the wage subsidy programme 5.0 for the same period. – Bernama