Saturday, March 20, 2010

PM Najib says NEM won’t leave rural folk behind

The government will not neglect the rural sector in formulating the New Economic Model (NEM), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (left) said.

He said the government had also allocated RM750 million in additional fund to the Rural and Regional Development Ministry to implement rural development programmes.

“The government hopes that the allocation will help increase the income among the poor and hardcore poor, totalling 543,000, including those in Sabah and Sarawak, who have registered with the e-Kasih.

“The government will continue with the agenda to transform the rural community so that they can become self-sufficient and not relying too much on the government,” he said when opening the Rural and Regional Development Ministry’s 50th anniversary in Dataran Lipis here today.

Also present at the event attended by 5,000 people were Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Najib said through the NEM, the income of rural community, especially farmers would be enhanced through programmes such as the agropolitan project.

The rural community would also be taught entrepreneurial skills and business culture, he said.

“For instance, the agropolitan project in Gahai in Kuala Lipis has successfully increased the income of participants from RM450 a month each to RM1,700 a month in just two years of joining the project.

“We hope that through the NEM, the rural income can be further increased to create a balanced society,” he said.

Speaking to reporters later, Najib said rural development was now entering its third phase.

“The first phase was during the era of the ‘red book’ programme for rural development, the second phase was when the sector was made part of the national mission. Now we are in the era of government transformation programme.

“Through the NEM, the government will give emphasis to achieving a high-income economy, and agriculture is seen as one of the sectors to push the third phase of the rural development agenda,” he said. — Bernama

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