BUDGET 2023 – scheduled to be presented again in Parliament on Feb 24 – will not be tied to the budget presented by the previous government in October 2022, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
However, he said the proposals made in the previous budget plan will be taken into account in the revised Budget 2023 figures.
“All aspects will not be tied to the previous budget even if we take into account the suggestions made before,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama after the Budget 2023 Dialogue in Kuala Lumpur today.
“But this is a completely new budget, its core, its policies and its modifications, even though the revenue figures may not change much.”
According to Anwar who is also the Finance Minister, Budget 2023’s priority will be given to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in high-impact sectors such as technology, agriculture and renewable energy and which have export capabilities.
He said this when responding to a question on whether the revised Budget 2023 would retain the amount of RM372.3 bil previously allocated during the presentation in October last year by the previous government’s finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
However, on Oct 10, 2022, Parliament was dissolved to make room for the 15th General Election to be held on Nov 19, 2022.
During the Parliamentary session which took place on Dec 20, 2022, Parliament approved a special allocation of service expenditure amounting to RM107.72 billion, which includes salary payments to civil servants, utilities, scholarships, welfare assistance as well as education and health services.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry said the Budget 2023 Dialogue was attended by stakeholders consisting of government agencies, the private sector, academics, non-governmental organisations and civil societies.
In a statement issued earlier today, the ministry revealed that dialogue participants have put forward various suggestions, among others, proposing that more focus be given to issues of mental health and the needs of people with disabilities as well as ensuring gender equality in education and employment opportunities.
There are also recommendations to empower small and medium enterprises, promote urban agriculture as a contributor to food security and pay attention to environmental sustainability, ensure initiatives are in place to protect the survival of vulnerable groups and improve the digitisation process in government delivery.
The Finance Ministry also launched the Budget 2023 Proposal Portal to make the annual budget preparation process more transparent and inclusive which welcomes the involvement of all levels of the people. – Jan 17, 2023
Main pic credit: Bernama