Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mystery of the ‘missing’ loan

Najib announced it in the last budget and is now gearing up for his new budget. But the loan for Indian plantation workers has yet to materialise.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s move to set up a special revolving fund for residents of Chinese new villages nationwide has been lauded. But a consumer group is wondering what happened to a loan scheme announced in the last budget for Indian plantation workers.

What more when the 2012 Budget will be unveiled by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in October.
Malaysian Consumer Advisory Association (MCAA) president M Varatharajoo said he received a letter dated June 21 from Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) – which was appointed to handle the scheme – stating that the money had not come in.

He said that in the 2011 budget, Najib had announced the RM50 million loan scheme – with a 4% interest rate and 40-year repayment period – to upgrade the living standards of plantation workers.

In its letter, a copy of which was provided to FMT, BSN confirmed that the finance ministry had already approved it but the money was yet to be transferred.

It is learnt that the loan scheme fell under BSN, the Peninsular Malaysian Manpower Department and the Economic Planning Unit.

Varatharajoo urged the federal government to explain the mystery behind the missing funds, especially since the BSN letter stated that the scheme was still in the final stages of implementation.

“How can the finance ministry approve the money for a scheme which is still in the works?” he asked.

He added that if the ministry had indeed given the green light, then the goverment must expedite the implementation of the scheme.

According to Varatharajoo, tthe issue showed the “failure” of Najib’s administration.
He also called on the prime minister to resolve this problem before he tables the next budget in Parliament.

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