ASSISTING THE NEEDY: Seven million households to get RM500 aid
IPOH: FEBRUARY will be a much awaited month for more than seven million households and single Malaysians.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will kick-start the nationwide disbursement of RM500 to the those eligible for the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M 2.0).
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said the launch by Najib, who mooted the aid programme to help low-income households, would put in motion the disbursement of the aid nationwide to eligible households and single folk.
Distribution of the aid would be carried out next month and would be completed by March.
Ahmad Husni said the aid would be distributed through district officers and zone development officers.
Under the BR1M 2.0 initiative, he said more than three million new applicants would also enjoy the cash aid.
"The launch (of the disbursement) is confirmed, but the official venue has yet to be confirmed," he said after launching the "Populate the library" programme in Tambun near here yesterday.
Ahamd Husni said so far, the Inland Revenue Board had processed six million BR1M 2.0 applications, both old and new, with 1.3 million still being processed by the board.
"Last year, the government gave BR1M to 4.1 million households. On top of that figure, we have received 3.2 million new applications.
"However, the government will continue to accept new applications. We have not announced the closing date yet, so those who feel they are eligible to apply for BR1M 2.0 can still do so."
He said in a similar to process to last year's, the RM500 payment would be given via vouchers which can be cashed at mobile banks located at the venue of the aid disbursement.
He said this year, four banks had been appointed to cash the vouchers. They are Bank Simpanan Nasional, CIMB, Maybank and Public Bank.
Husni said the distribution of BR1M 2.0 would have a positive impact on economic growth and domestic consumption.
"The spin-off effect will be felt throughout the country when the recipients start spending their money. Local businesses will also benefit greatly from this."
Asked about the economic growth figure for the last quarter of 2012, Husni said the quarterly figure, as well as the annual figure, would be released by Bank Negara next month.
He said the government was confident of recording more than five per cent growth for last year.