KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has paid out RM3.6bil in outstanding payments to contractors for projects completed, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
He said he had recently directed the Treasury to settle all payments to contractors and service providers before the end of the year.
“Following this, out of the RM3.6bil owed to the contractors as at Oct 31, RM2.4bil was paid out by Nov 20. The remaining amount of RM1.2bil has also been settled.
“The Government must be a good paymaster to the contractors who have completed their projects based on tenders,” he said after chairing the National Finance Council and the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday.
“The RM3.6bil which is in circulation in the market will also help boost the economy,” he added.
Abdullah also said the main contractors should not withhold the money but pay sub-contractors that had assisted them in the projects.
He said the Treasury was told that if it had information on projects undertaken by sub-contractors, it should pay the sub-contractors directly to avoid problems of main contractors not paying their sub-contractors.
On the National Finance Council meeting, Abdullah said the audit reports on state governments had showed that all was in order and there were no criticisms or complaints against them.
He said some areas, such as the west coast, had more economic activities than others, like in the east coast.
“All state governments must co-operate to ensure that we achieve the economic growth target,” added Abdullah.
He also said the Bank Negara Governor reported to the council that there was healthy gross domestic product growth in the third quarter.
He said it was also explained that there were some statistical errors on export performance.
However, checks with the Customs Department and Statistics Department showed that the errors were due to some figures being left out, Abdullah said.
“So, there is no such thing as lack of performance in our exports drive, and our competitiveness remains high,” he added.