KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Many quarters are pinning high hopes for the 2020 Budget for measures to boost domestic demand and spur the economy as the current external headwinds, especially trade tensions, are dampening external consumption.
Between January and July 2019, Malaysia’s trade surplus rose 15.9 per cent to RM81.62 billion from the same period a year ago, but total trade slipped 1.4 per cent to RM1.06 trillion.
Many Malaysians have shared their big expectations and aspirations for the budget, which will be tabled by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng at the Dewan Rakyat today.
These include the desire to see the implementation of socio-economic initiatives that directly impact ongoing digital transformation under fourth industrial revolution.
People on the street are eager to know the initiatives being formulated to cope with the raising cost of living and better opportunities to be availed to enable them to enjoy a quality life.
Meanwhile, many economists have expressed hope that the budget will provide greater direction from the government of its vision and focus on sustainable growth.
They also called for a moderation in the fiscal consolidation by the government in view of the soft economic outlook.
Tax experts want a special attention be given to support growth of businesses and enhance the current tax administration.
They believe that the government should reduce personal income tax to increase disposable income so that the people will have more buying power to create spin-off effects to boost domestic consumption.
On the housing market, industry players have urged the government to consider market intervention to address the unprecedented issue of over-supply and over pricing of residential properties.
One thing for sure, the Pakatan Harapan government is listening to the people, while trying to keep its promise to restore Malaysia back to its fiscal health by 2022, despite having inherited a worrisome financial position.
The majority of analysts say Budget 2020 will reflect the government’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 that aims to restructure the economy and bridge disparities between the wealthy and the impoverished.