The National Finance Council yesterday approved a Federal government contribution of RM470 million to the State Reserve Fund in 2016, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the amount is to support states with a deficit in their operational budget and to spur economic and infrastructure development and improve the people’s wellbeing.

“The National Finance Council also approved an additional contribution of RM50 million for 2015.

“Taking into account the contribution approved earlier, the amount provided by the Federal government for 2015 totals RM480 million,” he told the media after chairing the Council’s 2014 meeting here yesterday.

Najib said there is room for improvement in the utilisation of funds under the road maintenance budget.

“In 2012 the percentage was 91.2 per cent (RM2.599 bilion) while in 2013 there was a slight decline to 82.1 per cent or RM2.931 billion,” he said.

Najib said the Council also wants all state governments to review the performance of their maintenance projects for state roads, while attributing the weaknesses to distribution of work by local councils and weather conditions.

“However, we agreed that each state government should review the process of work distribution so in future we can see a more encouraging performance,” he said.

He said the Council also agreed that a committee on state revenue be formed to help states identify new revenue sources and enhance revenue collection efficiency, including by reducing leakage and states sharing best practices in revenue collection.

“This proposal is a proactive move by the Federal government to help raise states’ revenue collection and is in line with the government’s transformation agenda,” he added.

The committee will be chaired by the Treasury secretary-general and its members will include the Auditor General, Attorney General, Economic Planning Unit director general, Accountant General and state government officials.