Budget 2021 will be similar in spirit to Prihatin, Penjana


KUALA LUMPUR: Budget 2021 will not deviate much from the previous budgets’ convention but will be infused with initiatives similar in spirit to the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) and National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana), according to an economic expert.

“The upcoming national budget will still hinge on aspects such as jobs and people’s income,” Prof Dr Jamal Othman, who is from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Economics and Management Faculty, said during a Ruang Bicara session aired on Bernama TV yesterday.

According to him, the government’s focus will not directly be on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per se but the GDP will see the effect when the government addresses more pressing matters such as jobs.

“Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic situation, I think the issue of economic growth is not the highest priority; what’s more important is to protect our ability to continue with our lives (as usual), which is inextricably linked to income.

“Economic growth will come later on,” he said.

Jamal forecast the budget deficit would widen from 5.5 per cent to six per cent of GDP, which he said would not be unusual given the challenging global economic situation this year due to the pandemic.

He said countries with an open economy would naturally be worse affected, and this could be seen in the drop in the country’s exports, which led to the dependence on domestic consumption for recovery.

Unfortunately, that was also affected due to people having lost their jobs, Jamal said.

However, the declining unemployment rate signalled that the implementation of the Prihatin and Penjana initiatives were producing positive results, he added.

The country’s unemployment rate fell to 4.7 per cent in July, down from 4.9 per cent in June and 5.3 per cent in May.

As of Sept 25, the government had implemented one-off cash assistances and three- to six-month initiatives worth RM122.7 billion under Prihatin. – Bernama

CM: No let-up in strengthening Sarawak’s status

KUCHING: The Sarawak Government will continue to strengthen the state’s constitutional status as a regional partner in the Federation of Malaysia. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi...

Share post:

Our Opinion

More like this

Doctor’s orders: Make a wish list

TEBEDU: Local assemblyman Dr Simon Sinang Bada wants the...

Rural projects ready for use

KABONG: Two rural transformation programme (RTP) projects in the...

Minister calls for proper development planning

KUCHING: Although much of the land in Sarawak is...

Lee: GPS victory due to rakyat’s strong support

MIRI: Sarawak Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin...

Experts to discuss challenges facing forestry sector

KUCHING: Control Union (CU), a global leader in forest...

Eight months’ jail for strangling own father

KUCHING: A local man was sentenced to eight months...

RM4,500 fine for slapping ex-wife and damaging her friend’s car

KUCHING: A local man was penalised with a fine...

Close rapport between rep and agencies vital for progress

SERIAN: The importance of close cooperation and good ties...