KOTA BARU: The state government has defended its decision to buy 39 new vehicles, including 13 imported models worth RM4.57mil, because state agencies and local authorities needed them.
Furthermore, several of the vehicles were second-hand reconditioned models as the state was conscious about not overspending, said state financial planning committee chairman Datuk Husam Musa.’
Husam said that although it was costly, the vehicle purchase was necessary.
Husam said this in response to an Auditor-General's Report on the state’s administrative expenses from its 2006 Budget.
The annual auditing report cited the purchase of the 39 new vehicles as partially contributing to Kelantan's higher Budget deficit of RM90.59mil last year.
The deficit emerged after the state spent RM333.93mil compared to the RM243.34mil it earned.
The accumulated fiscal deficit for Kelantan rose from RM241.97mil in 2005 to RM332.56mil for last year.
Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang advised the state to be more austere in its spending without compromising the quality of services and the public delivery system.
Ambrin also suggested that the state use more made-in-Malaysia Proton Perdana limousines to save costs as some state governments and the Federal Government have done.
Initially, the state executive councillors meetings had approved the purchase of 11 new vehicles worth RM1.29mil but this was later changed, and the state went ahead instead to purchase 39 vehicles costing RM4.57mil.
Among the other points highlighted in the report was the high cost incurred by the state to manage the Kelantan Islamic Foundation (YIK).
For example, the state pumped in RM40.5mil into YIK in the last financial year but, after the accounts were closed, it was discovered later that the state had actually spent RM52.57mil.
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