Lim: Budget 2020 to create more jobs

One for the album: Lim (centre) flanked by Aminuddin (right) and state Parti Amanah Nasional chairman Zulkefly Mohamad Omar with Loke (Aminuddin’s left) in a group photo with participants of the 20th state DAP convention in Seremban. — Bernama

SEREMBAN: Creating more jobs and helping small businesses will be among the thrusts of Budget 2020, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said this was necessary as many youths, including graduates, were jobless.

“We need to give priority to creating more jobs due to unemployment among our youths as well as help small businesses in these trying times,” he said.

Lim said the government would not be proposing an increase in taxes, including inheritance tax.

He said while increasing taxes, including corporate tax, might be the global trend, the government would not propose it for the time being.

“It will be difficult to do that in our fiscal situation. But if the economy improves, then we will consider this seriously.

“The government will do all it can to strengthen the economy as it grapples with the RM150bil in losses caused by several scandals, among them 1MDB, Tabung Haji and Felda.

“The measures we wish to implement now are to develop the economy for mutual prosperity, for the benefit of all,” he said at the 20th state DAP convention here yesterday.

Lim is scheduled to table Budget 2020 in Parliament on Oct 11.

Separately, he said the government is prepared to consider a request from the Negri Sembilan government to set up a free trade zone in the sprawling Malaysia Vision Valley (MVV 2.0) new growth area twice the size of Singapore.

He added that the state government should write to the Federal Government on the matter.

Earlier, in his speech, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun said the creation of such a zone would help spur economic growth in the state.

“MVV has a huge potential and a duty-free zone would surely help spur economic growth in the area.

“We do not have a huge seaport or a big airport in Negri Sembilan. All we have is land,” he said.

When met later, Aminuddin explained that his administration hopes to have a duty-free area within the free trade zone to attract more people to shop in the area.

The MVV 2.0 development, to be carried out in the 153,411ha new growth area spanning from Seremban to Port Dickson, is envisioned to be a world-class metropolis and part of Greater Kuala Lumpur.

The project to span 30 years, is expected to attract about RM294bil in investments until 2045.

This will see the creation of some 600,000 jobs.

The project is part of the National Physical Plan and one of 17 promoted development zones to be given priority at the national level.

It will have six “heartbeat” projects, with the first being a 1,135ha hi-tech industrial park due to open in Labu in 2020.

The other five projects identified under phase one of the MVV2.0 are an integrated transportation terminal and downtown transit-oriented development (3,518ha), specialised and integrated logistics services (1,240ha), World Knowledge City (2,000ha), Biopolis and Wellness City (2,000ha) and a tourism district and bird/river sanctuary (920ha).

On Aminuddin’s request that an East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) station be built in Seremban, Lim said this would involve huge cost.

“Actually, if we had not won the general election, the ECRL was never supposed to run through Negri Sembilan.

“And with the proposed new alignment after Pakatan Harapan won, the state will have stations in Klawang and Nilai. This I believe will bring lots of benefit to the people and the state,” he said.

On another matter, DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke, who was at the event, said Pakatan would defend the Tanjung Piai

parliamentary seat following the death of MP Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik.

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