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Friday, November 1, 2013

Tell us more about subsidies

Posted on 29 October 2013 - 07:19pm

I READ with interest the news items and articles highlighted about the Budget 2014 in Monday's edition of theSun. It is undeniable that the ordinary workers and people with a low monthly income would face very difficult times when the goods and service tax (GST) is implemented.

Even now it is reported that food and drink prices are expected to increase next month following the removal of sugar subsidies in Budget 2014.

I believe it may be pertinent to ask a relevant question on payment of subsidies. To whom does the government pay the subsidies on consumer goods: the manufacturer, the middle-man, the supplier, the wholesaler or the retailer?

And what are the factors taken into account by the government in determining the quantum of payment? What are the methods or system adopted in effecting payment to the relevant parties?

I pose this question because we never hear in news items or articles on the subject of subsidies anything mentioned about to whom the subsidy is paid and how it is paid.

Of course I know it is a matter which concerns the Ministry of Finance. But I think there is no harm in being transparent on matters of this nature that have a direct bearing on the rakyat. It can be considered as part of educating the people who are consumers.

S. Ragunathan
Petaling Jaya

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