Friday, January 30, 2009

Make stimulus package disbursement transparent - Malaysiakini

KUALA LUMPUR, Fri: The disbursement of only 70 percent of the RM7 billion economic stimulus package raises concern as it important for all the funds to be released urgently to counter the harsher adverse effects of the downturn and even a recession, says an economist.
In the interest of greater transparency and accountability, it is also necessary for the government to openly state how funds for the 2,224 education projects, 2,443 health projects, the 20,000 low cost houses and other infrastructure projects were allocated, the president of Transparency International Malaysia, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, said today.

“The public need to be assured that the due processes of good governance are being observed to raise confidence and credibility in the governance especially at this time of economic and financial strain and stress,” he said in a statement today.

Budget deficit will increase through the first and particularly the second stimulus package, but this will be acceptable only if all the necessary safeguards are taken to prevent corruption and wastage of public funds, he said.

He also expressed hope that the newly-formed projects monitoring unit will exercise prudential management of these wide range of projects expected to be implemented expeditiously and efficiently.

Ramon added that the second stimulus package should come out well before the next budget for 2010, if the stimulus package is to take place effectively.

“There are hundreds of projects that can introduced to meet the basic needs of the rakyat, not only in the rural areas but also the poor urban pockets in our large towns,” he said.

“There is some feeling on the ground that the government is still quite relaxed about the dangers of a possible severe slowdown or recession that may hit us sooner than later,” Ramon said. -BERNAMA

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