KUALA LUMPUR: The government has increased the allocation for contractors to build affordable homes from RM55,000 to RM68,000 per unit, caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.
Given the unpredictable cost of raw materials worldwide, Ismail Sabri said the government made the decision after considering the complaints made by local contractors.
With the new price, Ismail Sabri said contractors would now be able to increase their profit margin.
"We have heard the voices of the contractors. Some said RM55,000 would only bring them very small profits while some couldn't even make profits.
"In fact, there were those who ended up losing more (money). The government understands their woes and this was why the cabinet decided to increase the allocation from RM55,000 to RM68,000 for affordable houses such as PPRT (hardcore poor housing programme).
"The government realises that this is a struggle for local contractors, hence the reason we decided to increase the price, so that the profit margin can be increased too," he told reporters when met at the World Trade Centre here today.
Although he made no mention of when the cabinet made the decision, it is believed that it was done before Parliament was dissolved on Oct 10.
When commenting on the 2023 Budget, Ismail Sabri dismissed claims that the RM95 billion allocation for development expenditure would only benefit tycoons and conglomerates.
He said capable local contractors would greatly benefit from the allocation, adding that the amount was also allocated for rural development in Sabah and Sarawak, such as the Pan Borneo highway construction.
"Of the RM95 billion, it is understood that RM3 billion is for rural development. The allocation is not just for big projects, but also small ones such as for water, electricity and road repair.
"The allegations made by the opposition are false because the RM95 billion will benefit a lot of small-time contractors from G1 to G4."