The government will focus on two main areas to support economic growth

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will focus on two main areas to support the momentum of economic growth this year, namely creating jobs and helping entrepreneurs to develop, said Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He said this involves the creation of 600,000 job opportunities under the RM4.8 billion JaminKerja initiative to help Malaysia’s Keluarga income recovery, as well as the Semarak Niaga initiative. of RM40 billion for entrepreneurs.

“The government will also closely monitor all inflationary pressures, especially on food items, and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to allay people’s concerns about their survival,” he said in the statement. Astro Awani’s Awani Agenda program on “Keluarga Malaysia’s Economic Resilience”. yesterday.

Tengku Zafrul said the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the government have always been responsive in ensuring that the whole of Keluarga Malaysia and the business communities are well supported, especially to bolster the country’s economic recovery. .

He pointed out that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.1% in 2021 compared to the contraction of 5.6% in 2020, reflecting the effectiveness of the aid and economic recovery plans of the country. government totaling RM530 billion.

“Growth was also supported by the success of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme, which was further strengthened with booster doses and the expansion of the program to include children.

“Additionally, it was also supported by the Systematic National Recovery Plan where all states successfully transitioned to Phase 4; and almost all economic sectors and social activities have been allowed to resume,” he said.

The Minister of Finance noted that in terms of sectoral growth, the manufacturing sector took the lead with a growth of almost 10%, followed by the services sector (+1.9%) and the mining and quarrying sector ( +0.7%).

“Meanwhile, other sectors recorded a lower rate of contraction, reflecting the country’s recovery,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul said the unemployment rate also fell to 4.2% at the end of December 2021, from a high of 5.3% in May 2020.

“This clearly shows that the government’s job creation initiatives have been effective, supported by foreign trade which exceeded RM2 trillion as well as net foreign direct investment which amounted to over 50 billion. from RM in 2021.

“So, with all the initiatives and all the plans developed under the 2022 budget, we expect GDP to grow between 5.5% and 6.5% in 2022,” he said.

He noted that the 2022 budget was Malaysia’s largest budget to date, with an allocation of RM332.5 billion, reflecting the government’s commitment not to compromise to ensure the welfare of the people. all Malaysian families and business continuity thanks to an expansionary fiscal policy.

“However, the provision of allowances and measures alone would not be enough. We need to ensure the effectiveness and delivery of Budget 2022 initiatives.

“To this end, the 2022 Budget Monitoring Committee chaired by the Prime Minister has been established to monitor the implementation and performance of the various initiatives of the 2022 budget and recommend appropriate solutions and interventions to ensure the proper implementation. initiatives,” he added.

Tengku Zafrul also said that the Semarak Niaga initiative worth RM40 billion is planned to restore capacity and ensure viability of the business sector, especially during the post-pandemic period.

“What is important is holistic government support, where all levels of entrepreneurs and businesses are supported, from micro level to listed companies in Bursa Malaysia,” he said in the interview with Astro Awan.

“The government is also aware of the importance of supporting micro-enterprises, in particular to help them recover from the pandemic.”

The RM40 billion distribution includes RM1.8 billion in microcredit through agencies such as BSN, Tekun, Agrobank, Bank Rakyat and Bank Negara Malaysia (through commercial banks).

The measures include equity/alternative financing (RM2.2 billion), subsidized loan for SMEs (RM14.2 billion) and Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan guarantees (RM22 billion, including an allocation special bumiputra of RM 2 billion).

One of the features specially negotiated by the Ministry of Finance while drafting the measures for Semarak Niaga is the moratorium feature, where borrowers can get a moratorium of at least six months (up to 12 months under Tekun). Even if it’s not for the whole period, they can at least get zero percent for six months.

Apart from this, cooperatives also benefit from Semarak Niaga through the Cooperative Movement Economic Transformation Program (RM10 million), Cooperative Economic Recovery Intervention Funding Program (RM30 million) and the preparation of commercial food truck sites in urban areas (RM 1.75 million), he mentioned.

As for the tourism sector, he said the government is aware that when the borders are reopened, the capacity already developed is needed to maximize the revenue potential of the sector.

So, to rebuild the tourism sector, the government has allocated RM1.6 billion in the 2022 budget. This includes wage subsidies to industry players which will benefit 330,000 workers and will involve an allocation of RM600 million. ; also RM600 million under Penjana Tourism Funding and special assistance to over 20,000 Motac registered tour operators for a period of three months with an allocation of RM85 million. The special personal income tax relief for domestic tourism expenditure up to RM1,000 is also extended to the tax year 2022.

Tengku Zafrul also pointed out that the Ministry of Finance will always be attentive to the needs of people and businesses by taking measures that will accelerate their respective recovery efforts. – Bernama

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