KUALA TERENGGANU, July 30 — The government can save RM20 billion a year by implementing the targeted subsidy scheme, said National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
According to Muhyiddin, at the moment only 20 per cent of the subsidy provided by the government was taken up by the B40 group while the rest was enjoyed by groups which did not deserve it.
“Almost 50 per cent of government subsidies are used by people in the well-to-do category, those with big vehicles and so on.
“So, I think the basis for the government to make a decision (on targeted subsidy scheme) is very strong for a higher percentage to reach the target group (B40),” he said after a meeting between MPN and Terengganu fishermen at the Cendering LKIM Port here today.
Also present were Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee and state Agriculture, Food Industries, Plantations, Commodities and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Azman Ibrahim.
At the ceremony, Muhyiddin also presented cheques totalling RM20 million as assistance for fishermen from the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry to the Terengganu Fishermen Association (PENENTU).
It included Projek Khas Perumahan Nelayan aid totalling RM14.2 million; cost of living allowance (RM4.2 million) and PENENTU special fund (RM1.6 million).
Muhyiddin said the saving from the targeted subsidy scheme can be channelled to the B40 group like farmers and fishermen who are badly affected by the rising cost of living.
However, the mechanism for implementing the scheme needs to be fine-tuned by the government to ensure subsidies reach the targeted group, he added.
“We are discussing this proposal at the MPN level and it will be taken to the Cabinet at the right time,” he said.