Expansionary budget is the way to go

WITH Budget 2021’s expansionary nature, the downside risks to Malaysia’s economic growth next year are likely to be more limited compared to 2020, according to Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli who is the group managing director of RHB Banking Group

At the current juncture, the three risks that the bank is closely monitoring are the timing of a commercial adaptation of an effective COVID-19 virus vaccine, the path of global economic growth, and volatility in global financial market conditions.

“It is indeed encouraging to see much support provided to vulnerable groups, especially the B40 segment through the continuation of fiscal stimulus packages, including the enhancement to Payment Assistance for loan and financing,” Khairussaleh said in a media statement.

“This much needed social aid would ease hardship faced by the rakyat as well as support the rebuilding and strengthening of Malaysia’s social and economic threadwork.”

Meanwhile, the Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) acknowledged the government’s attention given to the construction industry by reviving mega projects with an allocation of RM15 bil.

Such projects include the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3), Gemas-Johor Double Tracking Project, Rapid Transit System from Johor Bahru to Woodlands, Klang Valley First Phase Double Tracking Project and Pan Borneo Highway.

“(The revival of these projects) will serve as a catalyst to encourage positive growth for the construction industry,” MBAM said in response to the Budget 2021 announcement earlier today.

It further noted the RM3.8 bil budgeted for various major roadworks and welcomed the RM780 mil for the development of various economic corridors in 2021.

“The development for Kwasa Damansara with gross development value of RM50 bil will also contribute towards the construction economy. It is also highlighted that Sabah and Sarawak will get a development budget of RM5.1 bil and RM4.5 bil respectively which will also be invested in beefing up the water supply network, electricity and road access,” it said.

Apart from the construction industry, the Government is also providing support to boost the healthcare travel industry under the purview of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) with an allocation of RM35 mil.

“Malaysia Healthcare has the potential to contribute up to RM10 bil to the economy as the industry recovers. (The government’s) faith in the industry will open more doors to embrace transformations in healthcare which will improve overall healthcare economics,” MHTC CEO Sherene Azli said. – Nov 6, 2020

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