by JUNE MOH / pic source: Anwar FB
BUDGET 2023 will focus more on green technology, digital economy, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), agriculture, vulnerable groups and low-income groups, among others.
Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (picture) said SMEs has been the backbone of Malaysia for decades but they are given little support.
“SMEs have so much potential and ability, they can drive economic growth if given a little more focus.
“Post-Covid, instead of businesses and individuals feeling pessimistic of changes, there are new realities to explore such as green tech, digital economy, data centre and other industries. All we need to do is to get out of our comfort zone.
“We must be resilient and change orientation to ensure the vast majority of our citizens benefit from government initiatives,” he said at a Budget 2023 dialogue session in Putrajaya today.
Post-event, Anwar said the government’s upcoming Budget 2023 has an edge over the previous one tabled in September 2022 due to the latest data gathered up to this month.
“So, there will be some changes based on the (full year) figures; there will be additional emphasis on SMEs, agriculture, low-income groups such as rubber tappers, and vulnerable groups such as the less-abled,” he told reporters.
He added that sustainability must be taken into account for long-term economic growth.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of sustainability,” he said.
He said the country is witnessing increasing debt, which is burdening.
“For example, debt and liability increased to RM1.46 billion in 2022 from RM96 billion in 1993, which is more than 80% of the GDP.
“In addition, there was a 0.2% surplus of GDP in 1993. In 2022, the economy receded to -5.8%,” he said.