KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — There is still a Budget 2021 allocation of more than RM200 billion to be spent this year in addition to the economic stimulus package packages, including Pemerkasa Plus to help Malaysians deal with Covid-19, as well as to drive economic recovery, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said.
Parliament had approved an allocation of RM322.5 billion under Budget 2021. As at end-April 2021, a total of RM117 billion has been spent, thus the remainder of RM215 billion is yet to be spent until December 2021.
Tengku Zafrul said among Budget 2021 measures that is still being implemented for the benefit of the people is welfare assistance whose allocation has been increased from RM1.5 billion in 2020 to RM2.2 billion in 2021.
“It involved an increase in the rate of welfare assistance to vulnerable groups such as bed-ridden elderly, poor families and the disabled,” he told a press conference today.
Tengku Zafrul said the National Digital Network (Jendela) was also being implemented with an allocation of RM500 million which, among others, entailed fibre connectivity for schools.
“Other programmes earmarked under the development expenditure of Budget 2021 included the Micro Credit Fund of almost RM1 billion and school maintenance,” he said.
Besides Pemerkasa Plus, he said many programmes were still being implemented and would be implemented according to plan involving an allocation of more than RM100 billion to be spent until year-end.
Among them are the eBelia programme, which was launched today, for the benefit of two million youths and students of institutions of higher learning; the Jaringan Prihatin programme which is expected to benefit 8.4 million recipients; and wage subsidy and hiring incentives that will benefit 2.7 million workers.
The RM40 billion Pemerkasa Plus stimulus package, comprising 12 initiatives, was unveiled by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.
Tengku Zafrul said from March 2020 until March 2021, the government had announced six economic stimulus packages worth RM340 billion, with a fiscal injection of RM65 billion or almost 4.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), to address current health and economic challenges.
This proactive policy has begun to show a positive economic recovery with GDP for March 2021 posting a growth of 6.0 per cent.
Findings from Laksana monitoring found that the economic stimulus packages announced throughout 2020 have benefited more than 20 million people and 2.4 million businesses.
“So far, almost 60 per cent of the initiatives have been channelled. Of this amount, most of these initiatives include immediate and cash assistance such as Bantuan Prihatin Nasional, Prihatin Special Grant, Wage Subsidy, and various measures to protect the people and ensure business continuity,” he said.
In terms of value, as at May 21, 2021, almost RM200 billion has been channelled throughout the implementation of the economic stimulus packages. — Bernama