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Budget 2022 reflects govt effort to maintain expansionary fiscal policy, says Treasury sec-gen

Budget 2022 reflects the government’s effort to maintain an expansionary fiscal policy stance in order to provide adequate support for promoting a sustainable and long-term economic recovery, said Treasury secretary-general Datuk Asri Hamidon.

He said the government would continue to support and protect those in need, drive the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recovery and also jobs and income recovery.

“We would do this by providing the necessary support to businesses — all of which are towards a balanced, inclusive and sustainable way forward for Malaysia,” he said in his opening speech during the Malaysian Economic Association (MEA) 2022 Post-Budget Debate webinar on Monday.

He added that as a result of a combination of strong fundamentals, a supportive global landscape and a diversified economic base, Malaysia’s economy is expected to expand between 5.5% and 6.5% in 2022.

“With the reopening of the economy in conjunction with policy interventions under Budget 2022, we project to reduce unemployment to 4% or ideally below, combined with strong business recovery,” he said.

Asri emphasised that Budget 2022 also prioritises a prosperous and sustainable economy, whereby the immediate priority is to support a strong economic recovery.

“Hence, the reopening of the economy under the National Recovery Plan supported by an expansionary fiscal policy stance. So as to not prematurely withdraw fiscal support, the government has decided to only moderate the fiscal deficit from the projected 6.5% in 2021, down to 6.0% of GDP in 2022,” he said.

The modest reduction in deficit is also in support of the development agenda and projects as set out in the 12th Malaysia Plan towards driving the transformation of the economy and undertaking a more balanced and inclusive development across regions and communities.

Budget 2022 represents the country’s biggest budget to date with an allocation of RM332.1 billion and includes providing the largest cash aid to B40 Malaysians with Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia involving close to 10 million recipients and an allocation of RM8.2 billion, together with welfare aid exceeding RM2 billion.

Budget 2022 also promises 600,000 new jobs, with an allocation of RM4.8 billion.

  • The Edge Markets