Thursday, November 5, 2015

Target Groups Spend BR1M For Good Purposes- Chua Tee Yong

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 (Bernama) -- The government believes that recipients of the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) have spent the money for good purposes, such as to buy basic necessities.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said for the time being, the government did not intend to conduct a study to see how the money had been spent by the recipients, especially among the low-income households (B40).

"It is up to the recipients (how to spend the BR1M), and we are confident that most of the recipients in the B40 group, need the money to buy essentials," he said when replying to a question from Datuk Shabudin Yahaya (BN-Tasek Gelugor) in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Shabudin wanted to know about the government's action to ensure the BR1M's objective of easing the burden of the people, particularly the B40 group, was met.

Chua said the government had no plan to replace

BR1M with any form of vouchers or subsidies for fear that it would cause any other issues, such as the black economy.

"...and we see a report from the World Bank stating that direct cash is better than subsidies, as it could cause the issue of black economy," he said.

To a supplementary question from Shabudin on efforts to reduce the people's dependency on BR1M, especially among the B40 group, Chua said the government had implemented several programmes to improve the skills and standards of living of the people to enable them to enjoy higher income.

"In terms of increasing the B40 group's income, under the 2016 Budget and the 11th Malaysia Plan, the government has continued focusing on improving the people's skills through programmes such as vocational training and the 1Malaysia Training Scheme, as well as increasing the minimum wage.

"These are among the government's efforts to increase the people's income and reduce the Gini coefficient," he said.

To a supplementary question from Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid (PKR-Kuala Langat) on whether the government would raise the minimum wage, Chua said several factors must be taken into account in determining it.

Chua said if the minimum wage was raised again, it might affect the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as the sector employed nearly 52 per cent of the total workforce in the country.

He also said that since its introduction in 2012, the government had allocated a total of RM14 billion for BR1M, benefiting almost 7.4 million people each year.


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