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Budget 2018 comments

  • It is hoped that full benefits will go to the rakyat and that leakages and corruption will not be allowed to negate a good Budget.

By Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam

The 2018 Budget can be described as pragmatic, balanced and generous!

The Budget is pragmatic because it succeeded in meeting some of the basic needs of the rakyat, especially with the coming elections.

The Budget also achieved balance by addressing the challenges of maintaining fiscal prudence and stability through constraining the deficit to 3% of the GDP, despite promoting high economic growth.

I hope the 3% target for the budgetary deficit is actually realized next year.

There was a wide range of goodies for Malaysians across the board, particularly for the lower income group which rightly deserves more help to counter the rising prices, and to give them a better quality of life.

The Bottom-40% and Middle-40% income groups gain considerably from income tax cuts and other liberal tax concessions. Hopefully absolute poverty will be eradicated soon.

However the long term budget proposals to address the structural problems of low productivity, rising unemployment, inflation, the weak ringgit, brain drain, sustainability and the fight against extremism and bigotry, could have been more effectively addressed in Budget 2018.

Overall, it was a comprehensive and satisfying Budget that would benefit the poor.

It is hoped that the full benefits will go to the rakyat and that leakages and corruption will not be allowed to negate a good Budget.

i>(Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam is the Chairman of ASLI Center for Public Policy Studies.)

 

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