Increase for BR1M to be reviewed

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is looking into a suitable amount of increase for the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) by taking into account the country’s financial projections, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

“This is also in line with the government’s intention to restructure subsidies towards providing targeted subsidies,” he said in reply to a question from Oscar Ling Chai Yew (DAP-Sibu) in the Dewan Rakyat Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Ling had asked when the government would make good its promise to increase the BR1M from RM500 to RM1,200.

To a supplementary question from Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong) on increasing the amount of BR1M, Ahmad said the government was capable of carrying out its promise within five years.

“There is no problem with the government’s ability,” he said, adding that details of the BR1M would be given at the tabling of the 2014 Budget, followed by the 2015 to the 2018 Budget.

Besides being a financial aid meant as a targeted subsidy, Ahmad said BR1M also helped the local economy to grow.

“All sundry shops and markets from Perlis to Sabah benefit from this, stimulating local
economic growth because when they receive BR1M of RM500 and RM250 they don’t keep it in the bank, they spend it,” he said.

To a supplementary question from Datuk Ir Nawawi Ahmad (BN-Langkawi) on whether the government would increase the eligibility limit for the aid from households with incomes of below RM3,000 to RM5,000, Ahmad said the government was looking into the matter.

He said the government was also reviewing the mechanism of distributing the BR1M to households, with suggestions from various quarters for it to be divided equally for the husband and wife.

“We’ve received a suggestion for two envelopes. For example, if we want to give RM600, RM300 will be put in an envelope for the husband and another RM300 in an envelope for the wife. This is because some women said they never got the aid, but these could be isolated cases,” he added. — Bernama

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