'Weekly fuel prices not practical'

'Weekly fuel prices not practical'

PETALING JAYA: Although the proposal to fix the fuel prices on a weekly basis may be beneficial to some, there are also those who prefer it to be fixed monthly to ensure smoother planning.

Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Association of Malaysia national president Michael Kang said, if a proposal to fix fuel prices weekly instead of monthly was to be implemented, certain businesses would have to revise their budget forecast more often.

"SMEs will need to start monitoring the global oil prices to do their budget forecast if the cost of fuel is one of the major component on cost of operations," said Kang.

He said the idea was a double-edged sword as it could be good for SMEs if oil prices are stable or continue to stay low but would affect them adversely if oil prices increased.

"It's good if the oil prices keep going down, but bad if the oil prices increase suddenly as it will be out of control for SMEs in terms of cost," he added.

The proposal for the Government to do a weekly review for fuel pri­ces instead of the current monthly review was made recently by the Petrol Dealers' Association of Malaysia recently.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani was reported to have said that the Government would consider the idea.

The Associated Chinese Cham­bers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia secretary-general Datuk Low Kian Chuan said unless oil prices increased sharply, revising the petrol prices weekly would not have much affect on businesses.

"Businesses know how to adjust to it, most know how to do the forecast," Low said, adding that apart from the manufacturing industry, most businesses do not use petrol extensively.

"And the manufacturing industry is already buying oil at the market rate, the prices are different every day."

He said oil prices would not fluctuate too much from one week to another to affect monthly cost of operations for many businesses.

"Normally it (oil prices) only changes between three and five per cent. No one is going to raise prices," he said.

"Only if the price fluctuates more than 10% then it will affect businesses."

He added that if the Government wanted to change the timeline in reviewing petrol prices, it would be better if the review was done daily rather than weekly or monthly.

"Instead of going weekly it is better for it to be floated daily," he said.

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