Saifuddin (third right) hands out Deepavali assistance to the underprivileged from the community.

GEORGE TOWN: The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs hopes the targeted fuel subsidy programme (PSP) for recipients of the cost of living aid (BSH) or B40 will be implemented simultaneously with those from the middle-income group (M40) category, beginning January next year.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said his ministry would hold discussions with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to obtain the data of the eligible recipients and to refine the required mechanisms.

“As for the B40, we already have the data of about 2.9 million eligible people which I announced on Monday (Oct 7) but for the M40 … thus far, we still don’t have any information on the recipients.

“Hence, discussions between the two ministries at the officials and ministers’ level will be held next week to determine the eligibility criteria,” he told reporters after attending the presentation of contribution in conjunction with the upcoming Deepavali celebration, here today.

Saifuddin (third right) hands out Deepavali assistance to the underprivileged from the community.

He said the government still have three months to do what was necessary before the implementation next year.

“In addition to the MoF, we will also be seeking data from the Road Transport Department and Tenaga Nasional Bhd to obtain information on eligible individuals,” he said.

Saifuddin, who is also Pantai Jerejak assemblyman, estimated that the number of recipients from the M40 group could reach of up to 5 million.

“From the Budget 2020 presentation, the government has allocated RM2.2 billion for the targeted PSP scheme which benefit about eight million motorists and by excluding 2.9 million recipients from the B40 group, about five million eligible drivers will be identified including those from the M40 group,” he said.

On Friday, during the tabling of Budget 2020, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced said the PSP which was one of the Pakatan Harapan pledges, would be launched in Peninsular Malaysia, in January next year. – Bernama