Second stimulus package in the works

By Thursday January 22nd, 2009 No Comments

PUTRAJAYA: A second stimulus package will be introduced in the next few months to assist companies and workers affected by the weakening economic climate, the deputy prime minister said.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also finance minister, said the details, features and focus of the second package were still being studied and discussed with various quarters.

He also said the Finance Ministry had established a project management unit (PMU), to be headed by Datuk Mohamad Othman Zainal, to monitor all projects implemented under the first and second packages.

“We have to look at the features and focus, like what we can do to assist companies facing the economic downturn. We need time to hold discussions and we are looking at various angles to help companies and their workers.

“We are in the process of studying the requirements and prerequisites to be included in the package,” he said after witnessing the handing over of documents on the transfer of water assets between the Negri Sembilan government and Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad, a company under the Minister of Finance Inc.

In November, the government announced a RM7 billion stimulus package aimed at achieving 3.5 per cent economic growth this year.<

Najib said initial steps had been taken by the government to prepare the second package.

“We have taken steps by informing the Employees’ Provident Fund about the sale of land in Kuala Lumpur which will be developed by EPF. A decision will be made soon and we will then determine the timing for the second package.

Najib said the focus of the second package could be different from the first and that the government would make sure “our economy does not go into recession”.

Najib said the PMU had to be formed because many were doubtful of the benefits from the package. 

He said the PMU would spearhead the implementation initiatives with the Economic Planning Unit and the Implementation Coordination Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department.

The PMU would also report on the status of the projects directly to him as the finance minister.

Najib said bureaucracy would have to be removed to enable agencies and ministries to implement the projects without delay.

For example, allocations for Chinese schools are now given directly to the schools’ administrators for faster implementation.

Source : The New Straits Times

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