LAST_UPDATETue, 19 Jun 2018 12am

Johari Justifies RM86 Billion Subsidies Given To Rakyat, Dismisses Allegations

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani refuted allegations that the government is not giving out subsidy assistance to the rakyat especially those in the B40 and M40.

As a panel at the Agenda Pemerkasaan Ummah program held at Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) yesterday, he said that the government has given subsidy assistance to the rakyat through several direct and indirect schemes, UMNO Online reports.

He said that the rakyat can see this in the budget that was tabled by the government every year including in the recent Budget 2018, which was clearly a rakyat budget because it took into consideration the whole of society.

“For your information, the government has given RM26 billion in direct subsidies to the rakyat. It was given through various subsidy schemes.

“Meanwhile, the government gave RM60 billion in indirect subsidies.

“An example is the indirect subsidies given for education aid. Today, any child that is enrolled in a government school, whether primary or secondary, are given RM700 by the government.”

However, he said that many are unaware of this subsidy as it was not given to them directly like how BR1M is given.

“The government allocated around RM45 billion in the budget to assist students in primary and secondary school where the budget is divided among the five million students today, so each of them receives RM700 a month. The government even gives another RM100 to each student when the school reopens.

“The same goes with IPTA students enrolled in 20 public universities. The government has allocated RM14 billion in expenditure, and if it was divided to around 670,000 IPTA students today, this means that every student receives RM1,700 a month, though not everyone sees this,” he said.

He added that the rakyat might realise the extent of the government’s assistance if the families are directly given the money but the government decided against doing so because they worry that the money would not be used for the children’s schooling.

He also did not deny that there are several subsidies that were cut by the government but it was unavoidable following the world oil price crisis that happened which led to the government losing RM36 billion of national income.

“People have come up to me and asked why the government cut various subsidies. I told them that the government had to cut the subsidies because the nation’s economy would not be stable and would be compromised if the government did not do so following the world oil price crisis that had happened.

“So what the government did was to direct subsidies to target groups so those who do not need the government assistance do not receive it as well,” he said.

He countered that these false allegations were uttered by those who were not eligible to receive government assistance as they are able to support themselves and are trying to mislead others by saying that the government is not helping them.

However, he stressed that the rakyat should not continue to hope for the government to provide them with everything in their lives.

“The government has a lot of things to spend on for the benefit of the rakyat and the nation as a whole,” he said.

He also assured the government are considering steps to ease the burden of the B40 and below, however did not disclose the details.

“There are many steps or measures we can take but I can’t disclose it because no one step will satisfying everyone. Therefore the Prime Minister wants more time and it’s not proper for me to tell you,” he said.