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2016 Budget a budget of 'consolidation': Navaratnam

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 (Bernama) -- The upcoming Budget 2016 will likely be a "Budget of Consolidation", given the many constraints domestically and externally, says Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies Chairman, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam.

Ramon, once part of the government's budget planners, expects taxes to not be raised or changed significantly.

"Some tax concessions will hopefully be given to counter the burden of rising prices caused largely by imported inflation," he said in a statement today.

He also hoped there would be more exemptions to the Good and Services Tax on those items and services consumed by the poor and low income groups.

Ramon predicted that the Budget 2016 would see lower operating expenditures to cut costs, while development expenditure would be phased out over a longer period of implementation.

He expected projects with large foreign content to be scaled down or postponed and staggered.

"This has to be done to reduce the impact of imported inflation on development costs" he said.

Ramon also hoped that the government will strengthen the policy and implementation of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), especially the development expenditure on infrastructure building and spending.

"Under the PPP, projects will have to be much better scrutinised to qualify for more private funding.

"This can reduce government expenditure, debt and the kinds of wastage reported annually by the Auditor General," he added.



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