KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 (Bernama) — Prudent economic and revenue management have made it possible for more than RM30 billion to be allocated every year for direct subsidies to lighten the people’s pressures of life.
It has also enabled the government to disburse nearly RM3 billion to be given directly to the people this year.
He said the government was committed to continue the subsidy policy for selected foodstuffs such as rice, sugar, cooking oil and wheat as well as for petroleum products like petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
The government also provides subsidy for electricity bills for one million households whose monthly bills are below RM20, he said.
All these subsidies entail a cumulative allocation of more than RM30 billion a year, he said when unveiling the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and Government Transformation Plan (GTP) 2012 Annual Report Monday night.
The report was prepared by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) in the Prime Minister’s Department.
On long-term measures, realising that housing was the biggest component of the cost of living, the government has introduced the 1Malaysia Housing Scheme (PR1MA) to build affordable homes in urban areas for the middle-income group, he said.
While for low-income earners, schemes like the People’s Housing Project under the Housing and Local Government Ministry would be increased, Najib said.
For rural housing programme, he said Syarikat Perumahan Negara would ensure that sufficient houses were built for the rural community.
The Prime Minister said the government has also not forgotten the housing needs of fishermen, adding that RM300 million has been allocated his year under the Fishermen Special Housing Fund to build and repair their houses.
On medium-term measures, the government has introduced several initiatives to ease the people’s cost of living pressures, among them, 1Malaysia Kedai Rakyat, 1Malaysia Clinic, 1Malaysia People’s Menu and the five-year freeze on toll hike in the North-South Expressway and the East Coast Highway and the abolition of toll on several roads such as the Cheras-Kajang Road and Connaugt Road.
The government also recently announced a 7-13 per cent salary rise for 1.4 million civil servants, which will benefit nearly four million Malaysians.
“Whilst for the private sector, I will announce implementation of the minimum wage at the end of this month,” he said.
Among the short-term “one-off” measures implemented this year are the 1Malaysia People’s Aid or BRIM, under which, RM500 is given to families earning less than RM3,000 a month.
About four million households benefited from this aid.
In addition to BRIM, the government also extended RM100 school assistance for primary school pupil and secondary school students.
This cash aid benefited 5.3 million students nationwide.
Students in tertiary learning institutions and Sixth Formers, they are not forgotten. Book vouchers worth RM200 were given to them. About 1.3 million students gained from the vouchers. All these assistance involved nearly RM3 billion.
Source : Bernama