Fuel Subsidy Abolition and Performance of the Sectors in Malaysia: A Computable General Equilibrium Approach
The attempt of abolishing fuel subsidy to alleviate the rising pressure on public finances would pose a threat to the performance of the sectors. This study, therefore, intends to identify the impact of abolishing the subsidies on domestic producers in Malaysia using a Löfgren-based computable general equilibrium (CGE) model. The findings show that the fuel subsidy abolition leads to a significant fall in the level of production, and consequently decreases output allocation for domestic and export markets. Sectors which use relatively large amounts of oil products in production would most likely be hit harder. Besides simulating the impact of abolishing the fuel subsidies, two supplementary regimes (reallocating the extra savings to the agricultural sector to assist the rural poor and transferring direct cash to those who are in need) are incorporated to deal with the decelerating growth in domestic production. Interestingly, raising agricultural investment is found to be more favourable in terms of better performance in the growth of the sector. Thus, it is advisable to include improvement of farming practices in designing policy measures. This study can further serve as a guideline in upgrading the existing subsidy abolition to ensure the performance of the sectors is wholly satisfactory.