KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — An allocation of more than RM55 billion has been set aside under the 2023 Budget, specifically for subsidies, financial assistance and incentives to minimise the people’s cost of living through goods and services price control.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz when tabling the national budget or the Supply Bill 2023 at Parliament today, said RM200 million was allocated to cover the cost of transportation and distribution of essential items to ensure they reach the rural residents at reasonable prices.

He said the benefits of the programme will be extended to 23 new areas including Kampung Passin in Mukah, Sarawak and Kampung Tawayari in Lahad Datu, Sabah.

“Looking at the positive impact of the Malaysia Family Cheap Sale programme on B40 households, the government will continue implementing it nationwide, covering 600 state constituencies, 13 parliamentary constituencies in Federal Territories and public universities, with an allocation of RM100 million,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said subsidies for the cost of public transport services and access throughout the country will also continue, including an allocation of RM180 million to improve public bus access for the people of Melaka, Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Kuching (Sarawak).

The minister said the government will also replace 18 stage buses operated by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) for the benefit of Kedah residents.

He said the subsidy for air transport services would also continue with an allocation of RM209 million to benefit rural residents specifically in Sabah and Sarawak.

“In addition, the facilities at the seven Sabah and Sarawak airports have also been improved with wheelchair ramps for the benefit of the 2,300 wheelchair-bound people using MASWings,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul said the My50 monthly pass initiative will also continue next year which will benefit nearly 180,000 users who will each enjoy a subsidy of up to RM150 per month or RM1,800 per year.

As for the improvement of the ferry service between Pengkalan Kubor, Kelantan to Takbai, Narathiwat Thailand, the minister said a sum of RM9 million has been set aside to replace the existing ferries that is over 34 years old which will benefit 30,000 residents in Tumpat.

“The government also agreed to the exemption from excise duty and sales tax for the sale, transfer of ownership or disposal of taxis is extended to executive taxis and airport taxis,” he said. — Bernama