Remove subsidies on non-consumer items, says property developer

KUALA LUMPUR: The government should also consider removing subsidies on non-consumer items, according to a property developer.

"We are reducing the subsidies for petrol, electricity, sugar and flour but if you look at the housing industry, we pay a lot of money for subsidies. We subsidise Tenaga Nasional and Syabas for infrastructure and we also subsidise road construction," said See Hoy Chan Holdings Group's director Datuk Teo Chiang Kok.

Teo, who is former president of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), said the government should not only focus on reducing subsidies on consumer items but also consider the overall picture.

He was commenting on the proposal to reduce subsidies in stages as spelt out in the government's five-year subsidy rationalisation roadmap unveiled last week by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

The move is expected to save the government about RM103 billion during the period.

Teo said the government's move to reduce subsidies in stages was a wise one, but must be done in a small steps so that industry players could adjust their costing, budgeting, pricing and salary.

"Reducing subsidy will cause some changes in pricing system and big items like housing will be impacted," he said at a press conference after the FIABCI morning talk here on Monday, May 31.

"We would like the government to reduce the subsidies in small steps, so that there is no shock to the system," he said. -- Bernama
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