Deputy Finance Minister: Budget 2023 To Be Dynamic And Flexible
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(Image: Bernama)

Deputy Finance Minister I, Datuk Mohd Shahar Abdullah has commented that Budget 2023 will be a dynamic and flexible national budget, with the people’s welfare highlighted as a priority – as always. This is especially from the aspects of economic and social protection.

The deputy minister said that a flexible national budget will allow the government to implement improvements and adjustments if there were shortcomings or weaknesses. He also shared an example to illustrate the situation.

“In 2011, we found that the budget allocation for micro, small, and medium enterprises was not enough and needed to be increased. Even though we have tabled it [the budget], if we find that it does not meet the needs of the people, improvements can be made for the wellbeing of the people,” said Datuk Mohd Shahar.

(Image: The Malaysian Reserve)

Aside from that, Datuk Mohd Shahar also highlighted that the upcoming national budget will seek to boost the rural digital economy as well. He said that Malaysia’s e-commerce market has been expanding rapidly over the past few years, with the country recording a total sum of RM1.09 trillion in e-commerce transactions in 2021, up 21.8% from RM896.4 billion in 2020. In fact, Malaysia is on track to have an e-commerce market with the size of RM1.65 trillion by 2025. As such, rural areas, too, must be included in this advancement.

“From that sum [RM1.09 trillion], we can see a bigger opportunity through the digital economy, thus the implementation of various initiatives should be focused on and not just in the big cities. In fact, it should be widened to reach all levels of society, including the minority communities in the rural areas in tandem with the technology implemented by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry,” said Datuk Mohd Shahar.

Additionally, Datuk Mohd Shahar shared that the government foresees the country facing some economic challenges in 2023, and as such, may opt to postpone certain policy changes to Budget 2024 instead. This, in turn, will allow the government some flexibility to cater to the immediate needs of the people during 2023.

(Image: Malay Mail/Yusof Mat Isa)

“Hence, Budget 2024 will also be looking at subsidies for the consumers and some drastic measures to revive the economy, so that next year (2023), we will have enough funds to look after the welfare and health of the people. We can’t avoid the external factors, but we can make preparations with the prospective initiatives so that Budget 2023 will be able to cushion the adverse effects, if any,” the deputy minister further said.

Prior to this, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said that Budget 2023 – which is set to be tabled in October 2022 – will prioritise the welfare of Keluarga Malaysia. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz noted that the national budget will focus on sustainable subsidy management and ways to strengthen Malaysia’s resilience against future shocks.

(Sources: The Edge Markets, Malay Mail)

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