KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 7 – The government is prepared to consider increasing the quantum of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) for the urban poor, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Othman Aziz. He said the government was aware that the cost of living in the town was higher than in the rural areas. “InsyaAllah (God willing) the government will look into it. It’s a long-term plan,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.
He said this in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad (BN-Mersing) who wanted to know if the BR1M payment, which included RM900 for those with household income of RM3,001 to RM4,000, should be increased for those residing in the towns. He said RM25.62 billion had been allocated for BR1M between 2012 and 2017.
“This year, the government allocates RM6.8 billion for BR1M which will benefit more than 7.2 million recipients and with that amount, it brings to RM32.42 billion since 2012,” he said to an original question from Abdul Latiff on the amount spent by the government for BR1M.
He said a total of RM2.09 billion was spent in 2012 for 4.18 million recipients: RM2.9 billion for 6.8 million recipients in 2013; RM3.64 billion for 6.96 million recipients in 2014; RM5.35 billion for 7.44 million recipients in 2015; RM5.36 billion for 7.28 million recipients in 2016 and RM6.31 billion for 7.22 million recipients last year.
Othman said the short-term aid could increase the disposable income of the recipients , thereby helped to boost the economy and generate the growth of domestic business. The Finance Ministry, he said, would continue to make improvements to overcome any weaknesses in the aid programme. — Bernama