THE Government recently invited feedback on subsidies for fuel and other essential necessities. There is no need to create a new system as the previous subsidy programme was working well until it was terminated by the Government.
The previous rebate system needs only be modified to include cars below 1,500cc, with those using vehicles lower than 1,500cc progressively getting a higher fuel rebate. Motorcyclists too should be included in this system.
To alleviate the hardship of the poor who will have to pay the market price of fuel at the pump, the rebate payment can be made on a six-monthly basis at post offices, BSN branches and other centres specified by the Government.
Only the vehicle registration, road tax and insurance documents need to be produced to claim the rebate.
A special form needs to be filled up by the vehicle owner. The form should contain the vehicle owner's personal particulars as well as relevant details about monthly income, size of family, etc, which could help the Government ensure the system attains its objectives.
The Government needs to be careful about fuel price increases as the 30 sen per litre rise a few years ago led to hardship for the people and there were fewer vehicles on the road in the short term.
Although the economy is slowly picking up after the worldwide recession it has not gained momentum yet and many sectors are still reeling from the effects.
In addition, the Government can use the rebate system to drive home its road safety campaign by denying the rebate to errant motorists and motorcyclists who have outstanding summonses or demerit points.
This will prompt motorcyclists to buy insurance and road tax for their machines as quite a number of them are not covered by insurance despite the fact that they are a high-risk group.
The Government can use the MyKad as a subsidy card for the lower income group. It can come up with a system where the poor will be able to get an allowance of RM100-RM500 monthly, depending on the need.
The deserving could be identified from social welfare office records, income tax returns and from MPs and state representatives. This subsidy system will ensure the genuine poor, the aged, single parents, the handicapped and low wage earners benefit from this scheme.
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