KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Budget 2023 will continue the current recovery momentum and focus on structural reforms and strengthen the country’s economic resilience, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
He said with the theme of the budget to strengthen recovery and facilitate reforms toward sustainability of economic resilience and well-being of Keluarga Malaysia, the government’s focus is still on the people, businesses and economy.
“Even though Budget 2023 will only be tabled in the fourth quarter of thIs year, we have already started the engagement process to collate feedback from the people. The government is always committed to continuing to increase transparency in the preparation of the budget and encourage the participation of the public,” he said in the 102nd Laporan Kewangan Rakyat via Facebook Livestream today.
He said the Budget 2023 process began with the issue of a pre-Budget statement on June 3, 2022.
The pre-Budget statement was aimed at ensuring that the people were informed of the government’s priorities for next year’s budget. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) had also asked industry associations, business chambers and various non-governmental organisations to make proposals for the government’s consideration in the preparation of Budget 2023.
Like last year, the MoF issued the Public Consultation Paper on the planned Budget 2023 policy measures to gather feedback from the public.
“Subsequently, I and my deputies will go to all states for dialogues and see for ourselves the condition and needs of the people to get feedback directly, for instance, like in the previous year, the Finance Ministry will hold Budget Tour Programme to meet the people,” he added.
Commenting on the Laporan Kewangan Rakyat, Tengku Zafrul said up to June 2022, more than 150,000 people had obtained jobs through the Malaysian Family Job Guarantee Initiative.
The initiative provides 600,000 job opportunities with an allocation of RM4.8 billion.
“Among the benchmark of this initiative is the national unemployment rate, whereby during the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate rose to 5.3 per cent in May 2020, but during the transition phase to endemicity, the rate fell to 3.9 per cent in April 2022.
“The government’s unemployment rate target for this year is 4.0 per cent, but it fell to 3.9 per cent,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the government will launch 25 strategic initiatives under Budget 2022 in the second half of this year.
Overall, up to April 2022, a total of 257 out of 282 strategic initiatives monitored by the Budget 2022 Monitoring Committee had started to be implemented, added Tengku Zafrul.