Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has repeatedly criticized…
Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam has recently come off with a suggestion that the government should introduce the other vouchers like the petrol voucher to replace of the brim online cash aid for the middle and lower-income groups.
In talks with The Rakyat Post, the prominent economist stressed that this measure will go a long way in sustaining the country’s economy. He said that while it is unavoidable to control the rise of the petrol prices, these vouchers will assure that lower and middle income group do not suffer from any effect due to the rise in price. Last Thursday the price of RON95 increased to RM2.30 per litre from RM2.10 per litre and the price of diesel increased to RM2.20 per litre from RM2 per litre. This was the effect of reduction is subsidy by RM0.20 for the fuel.
Ramon agreed that ideally what government was doing is right—that gradual removal of subsidy is needed to maintain the fiscal discipline, but he stressed that he disagree with the fact that poor should be penalized for it, instead of rich people. He said that the constant Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia online was not helping the economy because of its misuse by the people. He argued that people were using the brim 2016 online handout as the cash windfall or for picnic lunch instead of subsidy. Ramon, who is also chairman of the Center for Public Policy Studies of the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli), said that a specific subsidy like petro subsidy could alleviate the burden of cost of living and can be an answer to government’s need to withdraw the subsidy. He suggested that the petrol voucher could be the ration card, offering the petrol at a special price. But a feasibility study should be done before implementing any such scheme. In the coming 2016 budget, Ramon expected no major surprises.
He also pointed out that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is already in pipeline. Also hinted at is the slight reduction in income tax rates. He added that GST might be unpopular with the public, but there are no other measures in making to raise the tax. He stressed the need to reduce the budget deficit over time. In 2016 budget, he expects government subsidies to be phased out further. He expressed that although operating expenditure needs to be reduced, there should be no reduction in development expenditure for projects that benefit the poor. He noted that even though Bank Negara estimates the rise of country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the high rate of 5.5% this year, the lower-income group might not be impressed.
He expressed the need to balance the income disparity between rich and poor and hoped that the economic budget of 2016 would be step towards bringing in the price stability along with the economic development. He stressed that one cannot and should not ignore the poor of the country as they may decide to retaliate thinking that nobody cares for them. What do you think of the online brim? does it still help in the year of 2016?