KOTA KINABALU, July 20– The Finance Ministry will study each proposal submitted by the people and stakeholders in drafting the 2021 Budget which is scheduled to be tabled in Parliament in November, and subsequently the tabling of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) next year.

Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said the government would try to do its best for the country by drafting the best instrument and at the same time observe the success and failures of other countries as a guide.

The health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic is the worst incident in world history and the economic impact is the most devastating in 100 years.

“Even though Malaysia recorded a growth rate of 0.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, the performance in the second quarter and subsequent quarters would give the real picture of the global economic slump and its impact on the country.

“Even if (we’re) seeing signs of recovery happening in Malaysia following various fiscal initiatives and monetary intervention specially through the stimulus package worth RM295 billion, the real worry will come (next) September when the moratorium (financial facility) estimated at RM100 billion and I-Lestari facility expire,” he said in a statement.

Abdul Rahim said the retail sector is becoming more active especially for the small and medium enterprise (SME) while the tourism services sector is still badly hit particularly for large-scale hotels which require a longer time to recover as the segment depends on foreign tourist arrivals in Malaysia.

“The government’s priority now is to reduce the unemployment rate, ensure local workers will get re-employment opportunities through wage subsidy initiative, retraining and reskilling, and encourage e-commerce business activities and gig economy,” he added.


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