KUALA LUMPUR, 15 June 2009: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the Dewan Rakyat today that almost 100% or RM6.95 billion from the first stimulus package’s allocation has been disbursed.
He said that of this total, RM4.02 billion or 57.9% involving 43,681 projects have been offered to successful contractors while the remainder was in the process of being offered.
Until 5 June 2009, 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, in particular people in rural areas.
At the same time, the public infrastructure maintenance programme (PIA) and the basic infrastructure project (PIAS) worth RM592 million have also been implemented, Najib said.
He added that people-friendly housing projects, costing RM200 million for 2,664 units of homes, have also been implemented.
“The implementation of this project has brought about a positive impact on construction sector activity for the first quarter of 2009, which posted a growth of 0.6%,” said Najib.
“The implementation of these projects has provided employment and income for small contractors, especially those in rural areas,” he added.
For the second economic stimulus package, a total of 7,811 projects worth RM4.2 billion have been awarded until 5 June, Najib disclosed.
Of this total, RM1.2 billion have 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.
Najib said 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 3% in April this year, compared to the 8.5% in July and August of 2008,” he said.
Among others, Najib said that based on the global economic situation, the government expected the economic environment for this year to be more difficult and challenging.
Najib had earlier revised the country’s gross domestic product for this year to be between -4% and -5% from an earlier projection of between -1% and 1%.
The first economic stimulus package of RM7 billion was announced on 4 Nov 2008 and the second amounting to RM60 billion on 10 March this year. — Bernama