PUTRAJAYA: The government will use RM5bil from the National Trust Fund (KWAN) for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines, says Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
The Finance Minister said money would be taken from its RM9bil in returns and the government would not touch KWAN’s RM10bil principal funds.
He said that the money would only be used for the purchase of vaccines needed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tengku Zafrul said KWAN, which was set up in 1988, can be used for development expenditure and also to finance soft loans to federal and state governments.
He said this was not the first time the fund had been tapped, adding that RM42mil had been used previously for the Paya Indah Wetlands project.
“When we announced Budget 2021, we estimated that the cost to purchase vaccines was RM3bil and it was not included in the budget. This was only an estimation,” he told the media on Monday (April 26).
He explained the additional RM2bil would be for vaccine “buffer stock” and other expenditures to expedite the vaccination process, which is targeted to be completed by December 2021.
The Emergency (National Trust Fund) Ordinance 2021, which came into force on April 21, will enable the government to source money from the fund, mainly derived from petroleum revenue.
The amendment to Section 6 of the National Trust Fund Act 1988 will see the government increase additional funding to combat the Covid-19, apart from RM17bil which was passed under Budget 2021 for the purpose.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is empowered under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution with regard to the Emergency Proclamation to amend the National Trust Fund Act 1988.