Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister, Datuk Seri Hasan Malek has envisaged a variety of mechanisms to reduce the people's hardship to be announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the 2015 Budget next week.

Speaking to reporters today, he said this would include an increase in the amount of the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M), school aid, subsidised house prices and other tax incentives.

"The government has assured that with the increase in fuel price, the people's burden will be considered. Therefore, we appeal to the people to be patient and take it positively. In addition, wait for the prime minister's Budget announcement as there will be several measures to ease the people's burden," he said after launching the Intellectual Property Awards here.

He was replying to comments on the reduction of petrol and diesel subsidy by 20 sen effective midnight last night, making the new retail price for RON95 petrol RM2.30 per liter and diesel price at RM2.20 a liter.

In the meantime, he said the ministry would be monitoring and conducting 24 hours surveillance to ensure that traders did not take the opportunity to raise prices of goods and services indiscriminately.

He stressed that the government would not hesitate to apprehend any local or foreign traders if caught.

Commenting on the rationale behind the announcement of the reduction of fuel subsidy, Hasan said the rate of increase is minimal and the prime minister had decided on it for quite sometime.

"We want to reduce leakage and smuggling by those irresponsible groups. It is not our intention to cause hardship but we need to strengthen our financial reserves in order to reduce the country's budget deficit to zero by 2020," he said.

He said with the reduction in fuel subsidy the government would be able to save more and channel the money towards other programmes and infrastructure projects for the welfare of the people.

In a related development, Hasan said the rise in fuel price might have little impact on the inflation rate, nevertheless there was no assurance of no further increase in petrol price in the future as it depended on the prevailing economic situation.

He also declined to disclose whether the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to be implemented in April next year would involve petrol and diesel.

Earlier, Hasan presented the Intellectual Property Awards to the winners of the six categories namely, organisation, patent, trademark, industrial design, copyright and young intellectual property designer.