Deputy Minister: Toll Subsidies Likely If Oil Prices Recover
The government could introduce toll subsidies if global oil prices recover from its current slump, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said.
He said revenue collected from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which hit RM27 billion in 2015, has made up for the shortfall in the country’s oil and gas earnings, and was optimistic that a subsidy system can be put in place if global oil prices recover.
“GST revenue at the time being is used to accommodate the shortfall in government income of about RM30 billion following the drop in world oil prices,” Datuk Johari was quoted saying by Utusan Malaysia.
GST revenue is expected to hit RM39 billion in 2016.
“If the market price of petroleum looks positive again, there is a big chance, with the extra earnings, that the government would subsidise toll rates,” he added.
Toll rates were recently raised between 10 sen and RM3 at 18 highways across the Klang Valley.
Crude oil prices on the other hand, fell nearly 50% since the middle of 2014, and currently trades at under US$50 (approx. RM214) per barrel.
Meanwhile, Datuk Johari rubbished opposition claims that Budget 2016 was drafted with the purpose of attracting more voters, especially with the Sarawak state elections approaching.
He said there was no correlation between the 2016 budget and political interest.
“The government is concerned with the current cost of living,” he said.
You can’t fight inflation, but you can stretch your Ringgit that much further just by using the right credit card for your lifestyle.