PM: Budget 2023 Not Bound To Previous Version
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(Image: Malay Mail/Shafwan Zaidon)

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said that the revised Budget 2023, which is set to be re-tabled in the Parliament next month, will not be linked to the earlier version that was presented by the previous government back in October 2022.

“All aspects will not be tied to the previous budget even if we take into account the suggestions made before. But this is a completely new budget – its core, its policies, and its modifications – even though the revenue figures may not change much,” said Datuk Seri Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister.

Additionally, Datuk Seri Anwar said that the updated Budget 2023 will be designed to prioritise small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in high-impact sectors because of their potential, in addition to various other service sectors. These include green technology, renewable energy, and digital economy.

“Let’s not feel lethargic due to the receding economy. We have to find a way in new sectors such as the green economy and the digital sector. Our approach so far has also not focused on SMEs, which are the pillars of the national economy,” Datuk Seri Anwar further said, adding that the budget also needs to take into consideration aspects such as the national debt, which has reached RM1.5 trillion and must be dealt with urgently.

(Image: Malay Mail/Ahmad Zamzahuri)

For context, the original Budget 2023 – which saw an allocation of RM372.3 billion – was tabled by former Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz in October 2022. However, the budget was not debated or approved as the Parliament was dissolved three days later to make way for the 15th general election (GE15).

Following the formation of the new government, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim confirmed that he will be re-tabling the national budget on 24 February 2023. Meanwhile, a mini budget amounting to RM107.72 billion was presented and approved on 20 December 2022 to cater for interim expenses, including salary payments to civil servants, utilities, scholarships, and welfare assistance.

The Finance Ministry is also currently accepting suggestions for the national budget from the public, in a bid to make the preparation process more inclusive and transparent. You can visit the Budget 2023 Proposal Portal here to submit your thoughts before it closes on 31 January 2023.

(Source: Malay Mail [1, 2])

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