External factors and currency fluctuations have resulted in higher cost of living, and the Government continues to provide the necessary assistance to those in need.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Government recognised that there were groups that felt the pinch more than others despite the inflation rate not reaching alarming levels.
“The Government has provided immediate relief to those hardest hit, particularly the bottom 40% of income earners (B40).
“Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) has been the flagship of our initiatives and its impact over the years has been significant,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said in the National Transformation Programme Annual Report 2016.
The report said that since 2011, the Government spent over RM23.5bil on several initiatives to help relieve the financial challenges faced by the rakyat, especially the B40.
Since 2012, RM19.33bil has been disbursed under BR1M.
“Last year alone, some RM5.36bil was disbursed to 7.28 million households with BR1M recipients receiving between RM400 and RM1,050,” he said, adding that this represented 100% of the KPI set.
There were also other National Key Results Area (NKRA) programmes, he said, that helped students, the lower income group and the remote and rural communities gain access to affordable amenities, basic medical treatment and public facilities.
On raising the standard of low income households, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said it had achieved 122% of its KPI in 2016 for its 1Azam programme.
The 1AZAM programme, she said, was aimed at empowering those in the lower income group with sustainable income rather than providing them with mere handouts.
She said there were 7,898 new participants in 1Azam in 2016 while 2,329 participants under the Beyond 1Azam programme successfully increased their income by 50% or more.
“A total of 10,225 new and existing participants have increased their income above RM300, representing over 90% of their previous individual income,” she added.
She said RM66.71mil was set aside last year for agencies involved in the NKRA programmes, particularly on the continuation of the 1Azam and Beyond 1Azam programmes.
Source: The Star (24 May 2017)