KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim presented the Supply Bill 2023 (Budget 2023) for a second reading in the Dewan Negara today with amendments approved in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
In presenting the bill, Anwar said that Budget 2023 was formulated as a measure to address current challenges covering economic issues, administrative governance, measures to drive economic growth, and the people’s well-being.
He said that the administration has taken an expansionary fiscal approach by allocating RM388.1 billion for Budget 2023, with RM289.1 billion for operating expenditure and RM99 billion for development expenditure, which includes RM2 billion as contingency savings.
Therefore, the government is committed to reducing the fiscal deficit in 2023 to five per cent versus 5.6 per cent last year, he said.
“The decision to reduce this deficit is critical in restoring domestic and foreign investor confidence, and secondly, it demonstrates a more responsible financial management attitude.
“We expect that if this trend continues, we will be able to achieve a deficit that is considered manageable, which is around 3.2 per cent, by 2025,” he said.
Anwar said that Sabah and Sarawak would benefit greatly from Budget 2023 with development allocations of RM6.5 billion and RM5.6 billion, respectively.
“There is a much greater focus on Sabah and Sarawak and this was initially questioned, (but) I explained that this is due to the poor development rate, state of inland areas and basic facilities,” he said.
Therefore, he urged that the Malaysia Agreement 1963 be examined to provide benefits and expedite the approval process for projects in both states.
The Dewan Rakyat yesterday passed the bill through a majority voice vote.