KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told the Dewan Rakyat today that almost a hundred percent or RM6.95 billion from the first stimulus package allocation had been disbursed.
He said that of this total, RM4.02 billion or 57.9 percent involving 43,681 projects had been offered to successful contractors while the remainder was in the process of being done.
Until June 5, Najib who is also the Finance Minister, said a total of RM1.4 billion had been spent in completing 10,979 projects.
“This includes small projects such as upgrading and repairing roads in rural areas, bridges, schools and hospitals costing RM500 million,” he said.
He said this in reply to an oral question from Datuk Seri Tengku Azlan Ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar (BN-Jerantut) on whether the stimulus package had reached the right target, that is helping the people, in particular those in the rural areas.
At the same time, the public infrastructure maintenance programme (PIA) and the basic infrastructure project (PIAS) worth RM592 million had also been implemented, said the Prime Minister.
He said, the people friendly housing projects, costing RM200 million to build 2,664 units of homes had been urgently implemented.
“The implementation of this project had brought about a positive impact on the construction sector activity for the first quarter of 2009, where it posted a growth of 0.6 percent,” said Najib.
“The implementation of the said project had provided employment and income for small contractors,especially those in the rural areas,” he added.
For the second economic stimulus package, a total of 7,811 projects worth RM4.2 billion had been awarded until June 5, Najib disclosed.
Of this total, RM1.2 billion had been spent in completing 453 projects, he said.
This also involved the PIA programme and PIAS worth RM173 million, involving 2,686 projects focused on Sabah and Sarawak.
“This has directly helped enhance economic activity as well as the quality of life for the people in the rural areas, especially in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said. According to Najib, the government has also increased the allocation of RM674 million as subsidy to avoid an increase in prices of daily food products such as sugar,bread and flour.
“This has helped reduce the inflation rate to three percent in April this year, compared to the 8.5 percent July and August of 2008,” he said.
Among others, Najib said based on the global economic situation, the government expects the economic environment for this year to be more difficult and challenging.
Najib had earlier revised the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for this year to be between a negative four to five percent from the negative one percent to positive one percent.
The first economic stimulus package of RM7 billion was announced on November 4 last year and the second amounting to RM60 billion on March 10 this year.
Source : Bernama