JOHOR BAHRU: A vehicle towing service company in Ulu Tiram has been issued a notice for raising service charges, citing the implementation of targeted diesel subsidies as reason.

According to Berita Harian, the Johor Ministry of Domestic Trade and Costs of Living (KPDN) director, Lilis Saslinda Pornomo, stated that the notice was given to the company the day before yesterday, requiring them to respond within seven to 14 days.

“KPDN Johor issued the notice to the company following their announcement last Monday about the increase in service charges due to the alleged rise in operational costs following the government’s announcement of targeted diesel subsidies.

“The notice requires the company to provide response, particularly documentation and justification for the increased operational costs linked to the implementation of targeted diesel subsidies starting last Monday.

“Even before this, towing service companies were not eligible for diesel subsidies and had to purchase diesel at commercial rates. Therefore, we want to examine the evidence to determine if there has been price gouging, taking advantage of the rationalisation of diesel subsidies.

“If the company fails to provide solid evidence, especially in terms of documentation, strict action will be taken under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 (AKHAP 2011),“ she said when contacted by the Malay daily.

Last Monday, the company’s announcement letter regarding the price increase of their towing services in Ulu Tiram went viral, claiming it was due to rising operational costs following the diesel price increase after the targeted subsidy implementation.

Last Sunday, unsubsidised diesel was reported to be sold at RM3.35 per litre at all retail petrol stations across the Peninsula, effective Monday.

Finance Minister II, Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan, stated that simultaneously with the targeted diesel subsidy, 30,000 initial private diesel vehicle owners would receive a monthly assistance of RM200 through the BUDI MADANI program starting last Monday.

Amir Hamzah mentioned that with the price determination and targeted subsidy implementation, the government anticipates an immediate reduction in losses from ‘leakage’ due to smuggling activities, leading to savings of up to RM4 billion annually.

Meanwhile, major transportation and agricultural groups are also provided with cash assistance to offset the targeted subsidy.