Budget 2022 focuses on continuing aid programmes, support for SMEs

The budget will also oversee the continuation of the sustainability agenda and digitalisation, finance minister says


BUDGET 2022 will continue to focus on programmes for the national economy to hold out against long-term pandemic crisis effects on public health and economy structure.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture) said other scenarios Budget 2022 will be designed around include the determination of policy continuity and assistance to support people and businesses to remain resilient.

“The budget should also catalyst post-pandemic reform so that the country can rise and become more powerful as well as competitive and grounded, ensuring a more inclusive and sustainable national development,” he said during the handover of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) relief programme Phase 2 acceptance letter ceremony in Putrajaya yesterday.

He said additionally, Budget 2022 will oversee the continuation of the sustainability agenda.

“The government will focus on improving the efficiency of the delivery system as well as emphasis on environmental, sustainability and governance elements management in public services, statutory bodies and related companies.

“This is to illustrate the country’s determination in developing a more sustainable and inclusive economy, which will be an attraction to businesses to make this country a major investment destination,” he said.

Touching further on the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), the Finance Ministry (MoF) is committed to providing adequate financial allocation to cover expenses development for the period of 2021 to 2025.

“In line with the theme of Keluarga Malaysia which is “Prosperous, Inclusive and Sustainable”, the MoF will coordinate the priority areas of the budget with the 12MP as the main focus.

“In particular, Budget 2022 will focus on recovery, reconstruction of force, country resistance and the catalyst of reform or 3R (Recovery, Resilience and Reform),” he said.

Budget 2022 will also focus on digitisation, including the implementation of 5G, the Jendela programme as well as increasing the digital implementation among SMEs.

Meanwhile, the government has prepared various incentives and stimulation packages to ensure entrepreneurs can continue their operations.

Among them includes the allocation of RM6.1 billion to one million micro-entrepreneurs under the special grants.

In the past year following the outbreak of Covid-19, the entire business ecosystem has been impacted, in which informal, micro, SMEs are the most affected and require instantaneous aid to maintain operations.

Tengku Zafrul said to address this critical situation, the government has swiftly introduced various initiatives as well as allocated a large budget to help as many people as possible.

“This is where I see development financial institutions (DFIs) such as SME Bank Bhd play an important and strategic role in supporting the country’s economic recovery through initiatives such as SRP Pemulih which provide adequate space to SMEs by granting moratoriums or restructuring and rescheduling of financing balances. “Such efforts are also in line with the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia and meet the objectives of DFIs to help develop the socio-economy of the people,” he said.

Meanwhile, as the economy opens up, most entrepreneurs need capital injections to restart their businesses.

Among the government aids and assistance include the Skim Jaminan Prihatin DanaJamin (DPGS) under the Ransangan Ekonomi Prihatin package.

The scheme provides guarantee facility up to 80% of the loan amount for the purpose of financing working capital and targets businesses which are viable in all sectors facing difficulties from the Covid-19 outbreak.

As of Oct 1, 2021, over RM2 billion have been approved under DPGS.