KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the government has allocated nearly RM10 billion in subsidies and incentives for various sectors this year and that the amount has been increasing annually.
The Prime Minister said the allegation by certain quarters that the government is insensitive and has done away with subsidies is untrue, saying instead that the government always strives to ease the burden of the people by focusing on the target groups.
"The government continues to provide subsidies annually, and the quantum has continued to rise in tandem with world market prices," he said in a post today on his blog, najibrazak.com.
Najib said that in the agricultural sector, the government provided RM1.3 billion to boost paddy production and help the farmers and, for rubber tappers, the government provided RM510 million in subsidies and incentives, including aid to tide over the monsoon season.
"For the fishermen, the government provided RM260 million as cost of living allowance.
“Not only that, the government is subsidising cooking gas at RM1.6 billion this year and electricity at RM124 million,” said Najib, who is also Finance Minister.
The Prime Minister said that this year, the government also paid compensation to toll concessionaires to prevent any rise in toll charges.
“All these are done to ease the people’s burden and grow the local economy,” he said.
Najib said subsidies and incentives were important aid for the people and for a developing country.
“However, basically, subsidies are for the needy. That’s why subsidies and incentives should be given based on targets and not as bulk,” he said. ― Bernama