Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed informed that the price of subsidised diesel and petrol for fishermen will be reduced from RM1.43 per litre to RM1.30 per litre effective Tuesday. He also told that with the new price, the Government would have to bear an additional subsidy of about RM197mil annually. According to Mustapa the Government would maintain the RM200 monthly cost of living allowance for fishing vessel operators and fishermen with licensed vessels.
It is observed that the reduction in price of subsidised diesel and petrol would mean further savings in fuel costs of RM260 to RM4,160 monthly depending on the fishing zone and vessel size. Mustapa explained that traditional net vessels operating in Zone A, which is up to 5 nautical miles, will save RM260 monthly, dragnet vessels in Zone B (512 nautical miles) will save RM2,600 monthly.
Dragnet vessels in Zone C (1,230 nautical miles) would save RM3,120 monthly and dragnet vessels in Zone C2 (over 30 nautical miles) would save RM4,160 monthly, opined Mustapa. The Government had on Nov 3 increased the subsidised diesel and petrol quota from 106 million litres monthly to 126 million litres to accommodate 15,900 new fishing vessel licensed by the Fisheries Department.