Mobilising fiscal tools for economic recovery


The government has tabled a motion in Parliament to increase its statutory debt limit, taking into account the financing needs of the recovery measures and the implementation of the 12th Malaysia Plan

THE Malaysian government is confident the economy will recover and record positive growth in 2021, as it maintains a fiscal stance that prioritises steering the nation out of the pandemic crisis.

The rollout of more targeted recovery measures has positively impacted the economy as reflected by the strong economic growth of 7.1% in the first half of the year.
According to the Fiscal Outlook 2022, the provision of significant fiscal support is expected to contain the outbreak, sustain domestic economic activity, generate investments, stimulate consumer spending and create job opportunities.

Moving forward, the government's fiscal operations remain proactive and agile given the uneven and volatile global economic recovery.

It says efforts to enhance spending effectiveness and efficiency will be supported by prudent expenditure measures as well as optimising the operating environment in adjusting to the new normal.

Furthermore, strategies to improve revenue buoyancy will be implemented more orderly without disrupting the recovery momentum.

Among fiscal tools utilised to balance the spending needs and fiscal sustainability, the government has partially utilised the National Trust Fund to ensure sufficient funds and accelerate the implementation of vaccination programmes under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

The expedited vaccination rate, which hit 80% of the adult population in September 2021, has allowed the government to reopen more economic sectors to boost the economy.

In these exceptional times, the government has tabled a motion in Parliament to increase its statutory debt limit, taking into account the financing needs of the recovery measures and the implementation of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

Over the medium term, the socioeconomic and development agenda remains a top priority while fiscal resources will also be directed to implement programmes and projects under the 12MP."In ensuring medium-term fiscal sustainability, the fiscal consolidation trajectory is envisaged to be more gradual than initially projected.

"This is to provide sufficient fiscal support for the nation's economic recovery and development agenda," says the report.

To date, a series of four fiscal support packages totalling RM225bil has been introduced in 2021 while there has also been additional fiscal injection under these packages estimated at RM25bil to boost healthcare spending, ensure business continuity and ease the burden of the rakyat.

Overall, the government has announced eight assistance and stimulus packages totalling RM530bil since the pandemic last year with fiscal support of RM80bil provided under the Covid-19 Fund.
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