By Zhurin Azam Ahmad
PUTRAJAYA: Prices of RON95 petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will remain at the present rates for now.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision to maintain the prices was in the interest of the people.
He, however, could not specify how long the current prices would be maintained.
"I am sorry, I am not able to say exactly how long for now' can be.
"It can be for a month, two months perhaps or maybe four months," he told a press conference yesterday.
RON95 is sold at RM1.90 (S$0.80) per litre, diesel at RM1.80 (S$0.70) while LPG is priced at RM1.90 per kilogramme. The prices were effective from Dec 4 last year.
The decision to keep the current prices would mean that the subsidies borne by the Government will rise from RM8bil to RM18bil this year.
Ismail Sabri said the decision to maintain the prices was reached at a Cabinet meeting.
"The Government takes into consideration the people's interest. It has nothing to do with a general election. It also has nothing to do with the so-called pressure from the Opposition and the scary stories that they have cooked up about an impending price hike," he said.
Ismail Sabri said the public should not be misled by the Opposition's talk that the Government would increase the petrol price by as much as 30 sen.
"Stop believing them but listen to us as we always ensure that we will take into consideration the welfare of the people before we make any decision," he said.
However, Ismail Sabri said the Government would continue to study the need for subsidy rationalisation following the increase in the prices of petrol and gas in the global market.
He also said the Government would reduce its subsidy burden by more than RM800mil when the diesel subsidies for deep-sea fishing vessels and nine classes of commercial vehicles were removed on June 1.
-The Star/Asia News Network