Rafizi: Better economic results expected this year

ECONOMY Minister Rafizi Ramli claimed that the country’s economic performance under Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership will not fare worse compared to the former administration led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Rafizi said this was based on government data which showed recovery in nearly all sectors thus far except for agriculture.

Muhyiddin was told that if he wants to say that the economic performance this year will be worse, the economic data that the current unity government has does not support his statement.

Rafizi Ramli

Rafizi was responding to a supplementary question by the Pagoh MP who wanted to know what the government’s immediate plans are to assist vulnerable groups amid the looming global recession.

“This year, the situation may worsen. Maybe, many will lose their jobs and the B40 will become B60,” he said, adding that the Economic Stimulus Package during his administration had targeted incentives amounting to RM200 bil.

To this, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) politician said even if the government could allocate RM200 bil of targeted incentives, the present administration had inherited huge debts from the previous government.

He predicted that if the country took on more debt, it would face higher international interest rates.

Meanwhile, Paya Besar MP Datuk Indera Mohd Shahar Abdullah (BN-UMNO) interjected and said that high government spending would commensurate with economic development and higher tax collections.

Rafizi responded that there needed to be a balance between government spending and the ability to incur debt.

“That is why under the 11th Malaysia Plan, we have to reduce our deficit so that by 2025, our deficit will be only 3.5%. Budget 2023 is the largest budget in our history. So, the issue of lack of spending by the government does not arise,” he added. — March 23, 2023

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