By RUBEN SARIO
KOTA KINABALU: Fuel prices are likely to be reduced by Friday with an announcement expected following a Cabinet meeting on that day.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said Tuesday that the Cabinet would be discussing the fuel price revision in the wake of a steady drop in global crude oil price which is now below the US$83 (RM290) mark.
Shahrir said the cabinet at its Friday meeting would also be deciding on his proposal for a new approach to determine fuel prices, adding that once approved, a high level committee comprising the Prime Minister, the First and Second Finance Minster as well as the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister would determine the fuel prices. “This would enable us to be more flexible and responsive to the changing crude oil price and the cabinet will inform of any price revision,” he said.
On the upcoming revised oil prices, Shahrir said the public should not expect a dramatic reduction as it would be prudent for the Government to make changes gradually.
We also have to take into account petrol station operators who would be at the losing end if fuel prices are dramatically reduced, he said in adding that any price revision would take into account the Government’s 30 sen per litre subsidy. He said until now the Government has been trying to be responsive to the tumbling crude oil prices by reducing prices at the fuel pump just before Merdeka Day and Hari Raya, within a three week period.
On his meeting with the ministry’s officials in Sabah, Shahrir said the festive season price control scheme had succeeded in capping prices of 17 controlled items in the state. He said some traders however had failed to use pink price tags for the controlled items and the ministry’s enforcement staff had detected 16 such cases after inspecting more than 18,000 premises.
Shahrir said he was however pleased that prices of certain controlled items in Sabah are lower than the maximum limit. Citing an example, he said the average price of chicken in the state is RM9 per kg though the maximum permissible price is RM9.70.
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