KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's government says it will cut fuel subsidies for the first time in nearly two years to save 3.3 billion ringgit ($1 billion) annually.
Prime Minister Najib Razak says Monday the move is part of fiscal reforms to trim the budget deficit and strengthen economic fundamentals to boost investor confidence. Asian countries have come under stress as the anticipated scaling back of U.S. monetary stimulus spurs capital outflows from the region.
Najib says the government will cut the gasoline subsidy by 20 sen (6 cents) to 63 sen (19 cents) a liter and diesel by 20 sen to 80 sen a liter from Tuesday.
Malaysia spends 24.8 billion ringgit a year on fuel subsidies.
Najib said savings from the subsidy cut also help fund handouts for the poor.
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