KUALA LUMPUR: Nearly RM10bil in subsidies and incentives have been allocated for various sectors this year and the amount has been increasing annually, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
The Prime Minister said the allegation that the government is insensitive and has done away with subsidies is untrue.
Instead, the government strives to ease the burden of the people by focusing on target groups, he said.
"The government continues to provide subsidies annually, and the quantum has continued to rise in tandem with world market prices," he said in his blog, najibrazak.com.
Najib said that in the agricultural sector, the government provided RM1.3bil to boost padi production and help the farmers and, for rubber tappers, the government provided RM510mil in subsidies and incentives, including aid to tide over the monsoon season.
"For the fishermen, the government provided RM260mil as cost of living allowance.
"Not only that, the government is subsidising cooking gas at RM1.6bil this year and electricity at RM124mil," said Najib, who is also Finance Minister.
He said the government also paid compensation to toll concessionaires to prevent any rise in toll charges this year.
"All these are done to ease the people's burden and grow the local economy," he said.
Najib said subsidies and incentives were important aid for the people and for a developing country.
"However, basically, subsidies are for the needy. That's why subsidies and incentives should be given based on targets and not as bulk," he said. - Bernama