KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3– Only 48.48 per cent or RM33.4 billion of the RM69 billion allocated for government development projects has been spent as at Aug 16, 2020, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He noted that the amount spent was not even half of the year’s allocation for the purpose, despite the fact that it is already September.
“This has become an issue for the government as we want to revitalise the economy, but many factors has affected the performance, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
“However, the government, via the Works Ministry and the Public Works Department (PWD), has taken several proactive steps to accelerate the development projects,” he told reporters after a briefing on the upgrading of the National Sports Council’s 14-storey dormitory and podium here today.
The visit was in line with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s aim to implement regular monitoring of developments at the grassroots level, following the reopening of the country’s economy.
Meanwhile, Mustapa said from January to July this year, the value of government and private sector’s development projects fell to RM32 billion from RM62 billion recorded in the same period last year.
“The construction sector declined by 44.5 per cent, which is a huge contraction, and our economy also contracted by 17.1 per cent during the second quarter of the year (Q2 2020).
“We hope that the sector will recover in Q3 and Q4 this year through steps taken by the PWD, such as speeding up the issuance of the Letter of Acceptance (LoA) to allow the project to start. This used to take up to eight months, but has now been shortened to three to four months,” he said.
Mustapa said as of June this year, 251 project development tenders worth RM7 billion have been issued, while another 133 are still pending.
“It is hoped that the LoA for the 251 projects can be issued by year-end to allow the projects to start, and this will help to accelerate the country’s economic growth,” he said.
Commenting on the RM10 million project to upgrade the 14-storey dormitory which could accommodate 350 people, as well as the three-storey podium, he said the project is expected to be fully completed by Oct 30 this year.