Over RM30bil in economic grants, subsidies discussed at Pakatan-Finance Ministry meeting ahead of Budget 2022

Photo: Bernama

PETALING JAYA: A total of RM30bil in grants and subsidies for the economic sector was among the matters discussed at a meeting between Pakatan Harapan and the Finance Ministry, says the Pakatan Harapan Economic Committee.

The committee added that the preliminary proposals made after Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Aziz presented an outline of Budget 2022 and its "Recovery, Resilience and Reform" approach include RM6bil in work hiring incentives and at least RM5bil for households in the form of welfare payments.

It said that the work hiring incentives through the Malaysians@Work programme was originally proposed by Pakatan in Budget 2020 and added that there was also a request for a budget of RM2bil to make soft loans of up to RM50,000 available for micro, small and medium enterprises through Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN).

This is to be granted to businesses badly affected by the pandemic such as the food and beverage, travel, tourism and retail sectors, said the committee.

In a statement on Saturday (Sept 25), the committee said this is a breakdown of the RM45bil agreed expenditure per the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

It added that enhanced social protection was also requested through improved i-Suri and i-Saraan contributions along with the expansion of the MySalam scheme for M40s and childcare subsidies for those who lost their jobs.

The committee also said that investments in the green and digital economy with grants and subsidies to accelerate the growth in these sectors were proposed as well.

“We also call upon the government to assist successful local companies to become regional and global champions while at the same time providing greater incentives to attract the top global companies to set up operations in Malaysia,” it said.

It also said that requests were also made to provide a focus on Sabah and Sarawak through more investments towards healthcare facilities and an increase towards the Special Grant to Sabah and Sarawak under Section 112D of the Federal Constitution.

The committee then added that it should be ensured that East Malaysia will receive at least 30% of the development budget.

It said that other matters discussed included the need for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) compliance and reporting as well as a gender-responsive budget

The committee then added that it is hoped that these proposals would be provided with full consideration as they were in line with the finance minister’s proposed ‘Recovery, Resilience and Reform’ framework for Budget 2022.

The meeting held is consequent to the MOU for Transformation and Political Stability signed between the Pakatan parties and the government on Sept 13.

The Pakatan delegation was led by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, and he was met by Tengku Zafrul, Deputy Finance Minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah along with key officers from the Ministry.

Accompanying Lim were Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution, Fuziah Salleh and Wong Chen from PKR, Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Datuk Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus and Izham Hashim from Parti Amanah Negara; as well as Chong Chieng Jen and Tony Pua from DAP.

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