KUALA LUMPUR: New grants in millions of ringgit were given out when existing grants in similar amounts were not fully utilised yet — a startling revelation among other shortcomings that were prevalent in the previous administration.
Pointed out by the Auditor-General’s Report 2017, the information was in regard to the construction of the second generation Risda and Felcra houses known as Rumah Bina Negara (RBN).
Both agencies used up 16.9% of the RM93 million grant with a balance amounting to RM77.23 million up to Dec 31 2017. Of this 26.24 million and RM50.99 million were with Risda and Felcra respectively.
With each agency having about RM20 million, the financial performance of the RBN programme was inefficient as the existing grants were not fully spent by Risda and Felcra Berhad, said the report.
The Finance Ministry under the new government on June 26, imposed sanctions on additional grants for both agencies.
According to the report, 351 housing units were built between 2016 and 2017 which was only about 33.7% compared to the target set at 1,040 housing units under the RBN Programme.
It said the programme did not reach its target in assisting second-generation youth with a household income of not more than RM4,000 (B40) having their own home and staying in a rural area. The price offered was also affordable starting at RM45,000.
Audit findings conducted between December 2017 and April 2018, found that the programme management was weak and inefficient as some of the key issues identified such as the house site evaluations, were not properly implemented and the houses could not be sold as the infrastructure works had not yet been completed.
In addition, the audit report found that several completed houses that were handed over to the owners were still not occupied as the construction of the houses were not completed on time.
To address these weaknesses, the National Audit Department had recommended that the Ministry of Rural Development closely monitor its financial management programme to ensure that the grants were channelled according to the projection of financial needs for houses that were under construction. — Bernama