Govt may add to package announced by Najib

By Monday November 10th, 2008 No Comments

GEORGE TOWN: The Government may add to the RM7bil economy stimulus package announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the matter could still be discussed with Najib.

“We will see how much more we can afford to give and pace our affordability over time,” he said when asked to comment on a recent statement made by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng that RM7bil was insufficient when at least RM48bil was needed.

Najib had announced last Tuesday that the money would be used to boost the country’s economy in the face of the global financial crisis and to be spent on a wide range of projects, from light rail transport to repairing houses of the poor.

Nor Mohamed said it was all right for Lim to think that more was needed to encourage the country’s economy but what he found interesting in the latter’s statement was his stand on the matter.

“I am happy that he acknowledges the RM7bil while some of his Pakatan Rakyat colleagues have acted as if the RM7bil does not exist at all,” he told a press conference after opening the Muslim Jewellers and Money Changers Association building at Lorong Soo Hong here yesterday.

At the function, association president Abdul Waheed S. Abdul Wahab appealed to the Finance Ministry to consider letting money changers keep a daily closing stock of RM2mil as the current limit of RM250,000 was insufficient for their business.

“The foreign exchange rates are escalating these days and money changers are facing a dilemma every day.

“When Bank Negara officers inspect money changers’ premises, they confiscate all the money if the closing stock exceeds RM250,000. The confiscated money is then held for months or over a year,” Abdul Waheed said.

“We hope the ministry could consider our appeal and in the meantime grant us a temporary permit to keep a larger closing stock. We also hope Bank Negara will not confiscate all the money but just the exceeded amount,” he added.

He said 12 money changers in Penang and Kuala Lumpur had a total of RM9.7mil confiscated from their premises since last year because they had exceeded the permitted closing stock.

Nor Mohamed said he would discuss the association’s appeal with Bank Negara.

Source : The Star

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