KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is looking to maintain the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) programme despite the upcoming Budget 2016 revision, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong (pic).
“Maintaining BR1M is crucial as it acts as direct assistance for those eligible and is a way to stimulate the economy.
“This is because the distribution of BR1M is not concentrated in certain areas and reaches out to those staying in rural areas,” Chua said during a press conference held after officiating the 28th Sports Toto Chinese New Year Ang Pow Donation Campaign at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium, Cheras, here Thursday.
However, Chua did not specify the amount to be given.
“A lot of people are requesting it to be increased but what is important now is that the Government maintains the programme,” he said.
BR1M is part of the government's Economic Transformation Program (ETP) that started in 2012 to assist the low-income earners and reduce effects of the escalating cost of living.
Chua also said the World Bank had agreed that subsidies or assistance should be direct in nature.
“A classic example is the rationalised subsidy on diesel.
“Ever since the rationalisation, the demand has reduced by 30%, and this shows that the reduction was due to leakages when there was a subsidy on diesel.
“Similarly, the Government is keen to continue BR1M as we believe it reduces leakages, acts as a direct assistance to the people and creates a multiplier effect in urban and rural areas,” he said.
Last year, a total of RM5.35bil was handed out through BR1M to 7.4 million people in 222 parliamentary constituencies.
Chua also added that the current economy was volatile and the Government was trying to optimise the country’s expenditure.
“We are looking at postponing development expenditure that does not requite immediate launching.
“But BR1M has to be continued as it contributes to the economy,” he said.