EPU to be upgraded to full Ministry status

MOHD HUSNI MOHD NOOR

PUTRAJAYA: The Economic Planning Unit (EPU) which is now under the jurisdiction of the Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali will be upgraded to a full-fledged ministry and will be known as Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The EPU was previously under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Department and was headed by a director-general but when it becomes a ministry it will be headed by the Secretary-General instead.

NSTP understands that EPU’s restructuring and upgrading process to become a full ministry has passed several stages of discussion including with the unit’s top management.

The upgrading process for the unit or elevation to a ministry can be considered timely as the EPU will no longer be a single entity run by Mohamed Azmin, but several new portfolios will also be administered together under the new ministry. when it attains the ministry status.

Currently, the EPU operates from the Prime Minister’s Department office at Block B5 and Block B6, Presint 1, where it is led by Director-General Datuk Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid following his appointment to the post in June last year.

Based on the information obtained from the official website, www.epu.gov.my, the EPU has four main functions, namely Planning (socio economic studies and analysis, basic development, micro models and framework ), Distribution Sources(budget management and project assessment), Monitoring (monitoring national programmes, initiatives and projects) and Stakeholder Facilitation, namely the Economic Council and the National Development Planning Committee.

Apart from that, the 1Malaysia Training Scheme Programme (SL1M) which is a programme to increase the level of employment marketability or ability of graduates jointly organised with Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) and the private sector is also under the EPU.

In addition, the EPU also operates the National Poverty Alleviation System (eKasih), the integrated household database system created at the national level to help plan, implement and monitor programmes related to poverty.

EPU is also the main government agency responsible for preparing a national development plan for which it was set up in 1961. It’s first DG was Tan Sri Thong Yaw Hong who served from February 1965 to Dec 31, 1978. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd