Tour Van Drivers Unhappy With Exclusion From Diesel Subsidy


 


The Malaysia Tour Van Drivers’ Association expressed dissatisfaction with the Budi Madani Diesel Subsidy Programme announced yesterday.
Its chairperson Simon Sim said the diesel subsidy aid programme does not benefit tour buses or tourist vans.
“Once diesel prices are floated according to the market rate, it will inevitably increase the operating costs for drivers, thereby increasing the burden on consumers and further exacerbating inflation,” Sim (above) said in a statement today.
He said the association understands the burden of subsidies on national finances and agrees on the importance of gradually rationalising it.
However, he said tour buses and tourist vans also serve the public and should continue to receive subsidies.
Sim added that the association would write to the Finance Ministry to express its position and hopes that the ministry would reconsider the diesel subsidy programme.
Starting today, diesel vehicle owners in Peninsular Malaysia from the B40 and M40 groups can apply for subsidies from the Budi Madani Subsidy Aid Programme (Budi).
Eligible recipients will receive RM200 monthly as a targeted diesel subsidy.
The Budi Madani scheme is aimed at private vehicle owners and operators of agricultural vehicles. It complements the Subsidised Diesel Control System (SKDS) scheme that is aimed at commercial transport vehicles.
A list of frequently asked questions posted on the Budi Madani application website explicitly excludes tour vans and buses from receiving the Budi Madani subsidy.
List of eligible recipients
Meanwhile, the SKDS website lists 33 types of commercial vehicles eligible for subsidies under the SKDS scheme, such as school buses, rental cars, taxis, and various types of cargo lorries.
Tour vans and lorries are not mentioned on the list.
On May 21, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the finance minister, announced that the government plans to end blanket fuel subsidy that benefits both the ultra-rich and foreigners.
Instead, the government will implement targeted subsidies, which are expected to generate savings of RM4 billion per year.
Anwar said the government will continue subsidising diesel for 10 types of public transport and 23 types of vehicles used to transport goods.
Meanwhile, Sim also urged the government to extend the visa-free policy for Chinese tourists until 2025 as Malaysia is one of their favourite destinations.
He said this will allow the tourism industry to contribute to national economic recovery.
- Mkini


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