Budget 2021 to help the people and consolidate economy

THE government’s inclusive budget for 2021, involving the biggest total allocation in Malaysia’s history of RM322.5 bil, is aimed at helping the vulnerable groups of people that were affected by the pandemic and to consolidate the economy despite the challenging global conditions.

Budget 2021 will provide micro-credit facilities, easier financing for entrepreneurs, generate jobs and give a lift to adversely-affected sectors such as tourism while battling economic uncertainties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government will also provide incentives for companies producing COVID-19 vaccines to invest in Malaysia, as well as other pharmaceuticals.

A major initiative is making Malaysia a destination for high-value service chains, for which the government will relax tax incentive conditions, as well as the setting up of the global trading centre at a concessionary rate.

The budget also plans to ensure business continuity and economic resilience as reflected by continuing funds amounting to RM15 bil for big-ticket infrastructure projects, projects in development corridors and announcing new ones.

Some RM2 bil would also be channelled to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), a move which will go a long to providing sizeable number of jobs.

Pertinent in the budget address were measures to create 500,000 employment opportunities in 2021, which is crucial as many lost their jobs due to the movement control order (MCO) and conditional MCO measures.

Like in previous budgets, Bumiputera economic empowerment initiatives would be further promoted with an allocation of RM11.1 bil.

Another plus point in the budget is the lower Employee Provident Fund (EPF) contributions of 9% from the current 11%.

The RM1 bil allocation for digital transformation, combined with the RM35 mil to promote Malaysian-made products and RM150 mil for the Shop Malaysia Online initiative will bring the country one step closer to becoming an online shopping paradise.

As for the palm oil sector, the budget has allocated RM20 mil for sustainable certification programmes, a move which will increase the commodity’s acceptability in developed markets which demand sustainable products in their imports. – Nov 7, 2020

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