KUALA LUMPUR: The government has been asked to assess the impact of the targeted subsidy programme, especially for the M40 group and small-scale industry players, before it is fully implemented next year.

Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka), when debating the 12th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review (12MP MTR) in the Dewan Rakyat today, said this was because the M40 group is also burdened by the current economic challenges.

“In implementing the targeted subsidy, we must also look at the M40 group in urban areas, they too face big challenges. So, when we want to implement targeted subsidy, we must take note of this M40 group,” he said.

Datuk Willie Mongin (GPS-Puncak Borneo), meanwhile, said the government should study the targeted subsidy measures so that small-scale industry players are not affected by the implementation mechanism.

He said there was a group of small contractors complaining about the sudden hike in costs to carry out projects following the implementation of special permits by the government through the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living.

“These are not projects costing millions of ringgit but just small projects, so the government should look at this group.

“Many among them... (for example) there are contractors who cut grass but are not allowed to purchase subsidised petrol. This will surely eat into their profits and result in them being unable to implement their projects if we do not look into it,” he said.

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said yesterday that he expects the targeted subsidy programme to be implemented from next year.

He said the time frame was based on the scheduled launch of the Main Data Base System (PADU) this November before it is opened to the public for verification of their socioeconomic status in January next year.

Khoo, in his debate, urged the government to reconsider its decision to cancel projects that had been approved but have yet to start construction.

“In this matter, I wish to urge that a review of the decision is made because sometimes there are important projects that have been approved in the previous Malaysia Plans but have yet to be implemented due to, probably, legal issues or insufficient allocations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Syahir Che Sulaiman (PN-Bachok) welcomed the government’s commitment to optimising the regional economic potential and developing the infrastructures in rural areas.

He also hopes that the poorest states and districts, such as Bachok, are not neglected in the remaining rolling plan in the 12MP.

“The government’s efforts to increase, diversify and protect the incomes of the poor must be intensified. We in Sabah, Kelantan, Sarawak, including in Bachok, welcome such programmes,” he said. -Bernama

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