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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hassles, congestion and extra costs to come with new fuel subsidy scheme

PETALING JAYA: The Petrol Dealers Asso-ciation of Malaysia has expressed concern that the new fuel subsidy system which uses MyKad for petrol purchase may create hassles for consumers.

The association is worried that the system could cause congestion apart from burdening petrol dealers with additional costs.

Association president Datuk Hashim Othman said a bank had been appointed to manage the operation of the new fuel subsidy scheme and consumers might have to register their car registration number through the bank or petrol stations using MyKad.

He anticipated that it would take a longer time to process transactions as biometrics would be used to verify the vehicle owner’s identity through thumbprint scanning and this could lead to possible congestion at the petrol stations.

“Experts in the field may say it is applicable but people on the ground are worried that the thumbprint scan, which is similar to the practice in the airport, may delay transactions and create congestion at petrol stations,” he told The Star yesterday.

A new petrol pricing mechanism is expected to start on May 1, which is aimed at ensuring that only targetted groups are allowed to buy subsidised fuel.

To implement this, the Government plans to introduce the practice of using MyKad to purchase petrol.

Hashim said the Government was still negotiating the quota of fuel subsidy that each car owner would be entitled to.

“The idea to give fuel subsidy to deserving people is good but we are worried that the system may be complicated and cannot address arising problems.”

He said a pilot project might be carried out in selected petrol stations in the Klang Valley and some outskirt areas at the end of next month or in April.

Hashim said petrol dealers would then have to install the system to be connected to the bank and increase their manpower and this could lead to extra costs for them.

He said petrol dealers might also have to bear additional costs when the Government floated the price of fuel.

By IZATUN SHARI

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