PUTRAJAYA: Gross domestic product (GDP) growth for this year – earlier forecast at between 4% and 5% – has been revised to between 4% and 4.5%.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the revision followed the current economic situation and was based on the average Dated Brent crude oil price of US$35 per barrel.
He said that despite the challenging times, the Government was committed to fiscal consolidation measures, aiming to achieve a fiscal deficit of 3.1% of GDP.
It would also continue to reduce the national debt and ensure that it did not exceed 55%, the prudent level.
“The Government will neither impose capital controls nor peg the ringgit.
“We will maintain an accommodative monetary policy and interest rate at a level that supports domestic economic activities,” he said.
The Government also planned to maintain sufficient liquidity in the financial system, said the Prime Minister, who gave an assurance that existing fiscal and monetary policies would remain.
“Although the global economic situation and decline in crude oil prices have affected the country’s revenue, the Government will do the right thing for the country and the people,” he said, adding that BR1M and welfare assistance would continue.
“I would also like to emphasise that Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be maintained at 6%,” said Najib.
For small and medium enterprises and companies in financial difficulties, there was a negotiation mechanism in the small-debt resolution scheme.
A corporate debt restructuring committee, under the central bank, could also help them get through the challenging times, Najib said.
“The Government remains committed to achieving a targeted private investment of RM215bil.
“The implementation of major projects, such as the Mass Rapid Transit and Light Railway Transit, the Pan-Borneo Highway, RAPID project in Pengerang and high-speed rail will continue,” the Prime Minister added.
To boost links between urban and rural areas, 10 urban transformation centres will be built – in Labuan, Sungai Petani, Miri, Sibu, Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu, Tawau, Keningau, Seremban and Kangar.
Also, four rural transformation centres – in Jawi, Rembau, Sungai Rambai and Betong – were expected to be completed this year.