Growing calls for govt to create Youth Economic Policy

Diversify the types of grants to cover a wider range of target groups of entrepreneurship pioneered by the youth, says deputy minister


THE Youth Budget Agenda 2022, a public consultation platform in collaboration with the Malaysian Youth Council and several other organisations, recommends the creation of a Youth Economic Policy through youth-friendly incentives, grants and variable funding for Budget 2022.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal (picture) said among the specific measures proposed under this policy are the formation of a specialised body that brings together youth entrepreneurs from various fields towards creating a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem and develop an effective mechanism to conduct research on government and private policies to support the youth economy.

“Diversify the types of grants to cover a wider range of target groups and areas of entrepreneurship pioneered by the majority of youth such as e-sports, agropreneurs and others.

“Simplify grant application methods, outcome monitoring and further assistance for enterprises pioneered by youth entrepreneurs,” he said in a recent statement.

He called for the strengthening of development efforts for the Indian community, either through existing programmes or new initiatives by curbing school dropouts especially those in rural areas and providing conducive learning environment at school level such as creating full boarding schools (SBPs) specifically for the Indian community or providing quotas in existing SBPs.

The deputy minister also encouraged the entry of more students of Indian descent into higher education, either academic channels or technical and vocational education and based on their talents and interests, as well as increasing the provision of special education for Indian youths up to the tertiary level through the relevant ministries.

Other recommendations include increasing the rate of per capita income tax relief to ensure the balance of income of the country and the people post-pandemic, as well as lower costs and facilitate access for entrepreneurs, especially youths, to digital infrastructure through MyDigital and Jendela.

This includes subsidies for access to 5G networks and other high-speed Internet connections for the short-term.

He also mentioned that the government should accelerate the increase of Internet access to rural areas, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, not only to facilitate the people’s education process, but also to help economic development in those areas including the marketing of traditional or artisanal products to a wider market.

“Budget 2022 will have a huge long-term impact on the country’s economic fiscal policy.

“The move by the Finance Ministry to issue a pre-budget statement should be seen as an effort to reform the national budget to ensure transparency and involvement of as many parties as possible, including the youth in the process of drafting the national annual budget,” he added.