Malaysia’s Government, led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, on Friday proposed a smaller national budget focused on boosting domestic economic activity.
A total of 297.02 billion ringgit (70.96 billion U.S. dollars) would be allocated for the 2020 budget, down from 314.55 billion ringgit (75.49 billion U.S. dollars) allocation for 2019.
The, Finance Minister, Lim Guan-Eng, while unveiling the budget, said 241 billion of the budget would go toward operating expenditure while 56 billion ringgit would be spent on development.
Guan-Eng said the 2020 budget was growth-centric, with measures to optimize the impact on economic growth, job creation and structural change, without compromising the government’s commitment to restore Malaysia’s fiscal health in the medium term.
He said Malaysia’s economy will remain resilient as a result of budgetary measures, adding that the economy is expected to grow by 4.7 per cent this year and improve to 4.8 per cent in 2020.
The minister said in the event of continued worse-than-expected external environment, the government was ready to step in with contingency measures to provide further support or stimulus to growth.
“Inflation is expected to remain well anchored at 2.0 per cent in 2020 and the government expects to collect 244.5 billion ringgit in revenue in 2020.
“Also allocated were funds for farmers, fishermen, the disabled and other segments of the population in need of welfare, including cash assistance and increased facilities,“ he said.
He also outlined various measures and monetary incentives to encourage businesses and companies operating in Malaysia to reduce their dependence on foreign workers and hire locals.