Budget 2022 will be expansionary, lay foundations for wider reform efforts

Budget 2022 will be expansionary, lay foundations for wider reform efforts

KUALA LUMPUR: Budget 2022 will be expansionary and lay the foundations for the government’s wider and longer-term reform efforts with sustainability continuing to be a major focus, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz(pix).

He said the Budget would be focusing on three Rs — namely, speeding up recovery, strengthening economic resilience, and catalysing reform.

Based on engagement sessions across numerous sectors, he said the government would continue to map budget initiatives to the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Financial assistance will remain ongoing for those most impacted, especially the Bottom 40 group, the unemployed and the vulnerable.

“Support for businesses will remain steadfast, be it via affordable financing schemes or better access to credit or grants, to support operations while pivoting them towards increased automation and digitalisation,” he said at Invest Malaysia 2021 held virtually today.

Tengku Zafrul said there would be increased focus on sustainability and improving the resilience of Malaysia’s environment and water assets, following increased focus towards environmental, social and governance (ESG), net-zero emissions targets and further development of the circular economy.

The government would also improve the labour market by, among others, focusing on hiring incentives in addition to subsidising wages, while enhancing fiscal prudence by improving procurement and debt management process while enhancing tax enforcement measures, he said.

In the spirit of transparency, the Finance Ministry (MoF) recently introduced a pre-budget statement and four consultation papers — a first in Malaysia’s history.

To date, he said, MoF had received over 1,000 responses and comments on Budget 2022.

Meanwhile, in complementing the Perkukuh Pelaburan Rakyat (Perkukuh) initiative, Tengku Zafrul announced the establishment of the Public Listed Company (PLC) Transformation Programme (PLCT) which aims to deliver a high-performance Corporate Malaysia.

He said the initiative, to be spearheaded by Bursa Malaysia Bhd, would focus on enhancing five pillars in PLCs — to be performance driven; to grow as sustainable, socially responsible and ethical organisations; feature strengthened corporate governance; to be digitally enabled; and lastly, to support the nation-building drive to advance the Malaysian economy and community.

“The PLCT will run from 2021 to 2025. It will see our PLCs progress in numerous areas including building a stronger financial position and enhancing their board composition, thereby better positioning them to contribute to the national agenda,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul urged all PLCs to support this programme to improve Corporate Malaysia, capital markets and economy.

Collectively, these efforts — from Perkukuh and the National Investment Aspirations to the PLCT — would ensure that the fundamentals of the Malaysian economy become stronger, while positioning the nation on the path of prosperity, inclusivity and sustainability, he added.-Bernama

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