KUALA LUMPUR: The government will roll out the targeted RON95 subsidy programme in the second half of 2024 to optimise its resources towards those that need it the most, says Rafizi Ramli.
The Economy Minister said a country where those in the top 20 (T20) income group are receiving 53% of blanket fuel subsidies is not a sustainable model, nor is it an equitable one.
"These efforts are in line with the government’s central position of widening the fiscal paradigm we work in.
"Given our public finances ran a fiscal deficit of more than 5.0% for three consecutive years, we must find new avenues to mobilise our resources and reduce wastages within the system,” he said during his keynote address at the National Economic Outlook Conference (NEOC) here today.
Rafizi said that carrying out the subsidy retargeting programme by the end of 2024 would immediately translate into a better fiscal position for the country.
Meanwhile, the minister said the Economy Ministry would table the Progressive Wage Policy to Parliament in three days to fix the systemic issue of low wages in Malaysia.
He said the government remained mindful that wage growth must be productivity-driven through upskilling efforts.
"This has been emphasised by the five HGHV (high growth, high value) sectors identified in the mid-term review, where we want to focus on creating a greater proportion of technological-frontier jobs.
"It remains shocking to me that our median wage is only RM11 above the poverty line,” he added.