Budget 2023 to focus on boosting economic recovery

KUALA SELANGOR: Budget 2023 will be focused on enhancing economic recovery efforts, strengthening economic resilience as well as to empower entrepreneurs who will bring benefit to the Malaysian Family, says Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

The Finance Minister said the latest economic indicators showed the country’s economy was improving, providing positive signs for the business segment, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives.

“In about three weeks, Budget 2023 will be tabled. Our team under the Finance Ministry has conducted various engagements with relevant stakeholders to ensure that Budget 2023 will be drafted in the interest of Keluarga Malaysia in mind,” he said in his speech at the Jelajah Usahawan and Kooperasi programme here yesterday.

The tabling of Budget 2023 is slated for Oct 7, three weeks earlier than the originally scheduled date of Oct 28, sparking talk of an early general election.

Tengku Zafrul said among the main highlights of Budget 2023 would be the creation of job opportunities, better income and improvement in welfare as more socioeconomic opportunities were more inclusive and sustainable for all.

On SMEs, he said among the initiatives that were currently being considered were to improve competitiveness of the business community and strengthening the industry through infrastructure improvements, boosting productivity and the use of digitalisation and technology in business.

“To further develop business and empower SMEs, the government will also focus on digitalisation strategy, which can facilitate entrepreneurs and cooperatives, especially those that are just trying to start their business,” he added.

Popular figure: Zafrul taking a wefie during the  ‘Jelajah Usahawan dan Kooperasi’ programme held in Kuala Selangor. — AZLINA ABDULLAH/The StarPopular figure: Zafrul taking a wefie during the ‘Jelajah Usahawan dan Kooperasi’ programme held in Kuala Selangor. — AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

Tengku Zafrul said the government was also looking at forming cooperation and a strategic network between the public and private sector and to carry out promotions of their activities.

He urged entrepreneurs and cooperatives to take the opportunity to make full use of the resources provided by the government to move from conventional business methods to online business.

This could be seen through various initiatives implemented to help entrepreneurs and to push them towards digitalisation, he said.

On the possibility of another increase of the overnight policy rate (OPR), the Finance Minister stressed that it had nothing to do with the government.

“The OPR is determined by the monetary policy committee (MPC) and the government does not interfere in such matters,” he said.

At a separate event, Tengku Zafrul launched an esports programme involving youths here.

He said the esports sector was a growing industry and could be utilised to provide income in various ways, such as advertisements, pay-per-view as well as the sale of products.

“Malaysia has many talented players and some have even competed at the international level.

“It also has given many opportunities to youths, especially during Covid-19 and post pandemic.

“I hope all parties will continue to support the sector in order for it to grow,” he said.

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