DESPITE a drop in world oil prices, there is no necessity at the moment to recalibrate Budget 2019, says Lim Guan Eng.
“Even when oil prices rose from US$52 (RM217) per barrel to US$72 (RM301) per barrel, we did not do a recalibration,” the Finance Minister told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
“Even if you do an adjustment on the price drop, it will not have very much impact,” he added.
Lim was referring to the breakdown in a gas oil field in Sabah, which resulted in a drop of revenue by RM4bil.
Earlier in his debate speech on Budget 2019, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak took a swipe at the government for not taking a prudent approach when drafting the Budget.
He said the Budget was based on the assumption that oil prices would be US$70 (RM293) per barrel, although it has since dropped to about US$65 (RM272) per barrel.
The Pekan MP claimed that there would be “serious implications” for the nation’s finances and debts if oil prices slipped further.
In response, Lim chided Najib for warning that the nation’s sovereign rating would be affected following a recent downgrade in Petronas’ rating.
“This is not true as there has been no downgrade of Petronas’ rating.
“As a former finance minister, I find it very disappointing that he is unable to differentiate between a rating downgrade and outlook change,” he said, adding that the government would work hard to ensure that the rating is maintained in light of the current fiscal challenges.
Recently, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Petronas’ rating outlook from stable to negative.