Malaysia's statutory debt within acceptable limits, says Finance Minister

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's statutory debt reached 56.8% at the end of June but this is well below the allowed 60% statutory debt limit, says Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He said the government is planning to table a motion to lift the statutory debt ceiling in the next parliamentary session.

"With limited fiscal space, the government has no choice but to optimise existing financial resources through expenditure rationalisation, sourcing additional revenue from the government’s ecosystem, including the utilisation of National Trust Fund (KWAN) as well increasing the ceiling for the Covid-19 Fund (KWC-19),” he said during the ministerial briefing at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (July 29).

He added that the government was ready to ease the debt restriction rules to support the economic recovery plan taking into account the country's ability to manage its debt.

“As such, the government will file a motion for the purpose in the next session,” he added.

The government, he said, had introduced introduced eight stimulus packages since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic totalling RM530bil, inclusive of a fiscal injection of around RM83bil.

This includes the setting up of the Covid-19 Fund, of which RM55bil has been spent, he added.

The next Dewan Rakyat sitting is scheduled for Sept 6 to 30.

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