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PUTRAJAYA, July 1 — The government may save up to RM739 million by reviewing 668 non-tariff measures (NTM) at six ministries, said Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
He said the NTMs were collectively estimated to have a compliance cost of RM2.96 billion.
“On the ease and cost of doing business, we have made significant improvements to reduce regulatory burden, but there is still more work to be done,” Azmin said during the launch conference of the 12th Malaysia Plan 2021-2025, at the Marriott Hotel.
Azmin was speaking via a recorded video, as he is currently in Vienna, Austria, attending the 6th Opec and non-Opec Ministerial Meeting.
He said as of the first quarter of the year, Malaysia’s economy remains resilient despite the challenging geopolitical environment amid a global economic slowdown and the ongoing United States-China trade war.
“The economy expanded by 4.5 per cent supported by steady domestic demand, particularly private consumption that is buoyed by favourable labour market conditions and a strong recovery in agriculture production.
“In addition, inflation fell by 0.3 per cent, mainly due to lower domestic fuel prices arising from the resumption of the managed float fuel pricing mechanism and the setting of a lower price ceiling for RON95 petrol,” Azmin said.
Despite the negative overall inflation during the quarter, he added the decline was not broad-based as 81 per cent of consumer items were not experiencing price declines.
“The current account surplus of the balance of payments has widened to RM16.4 billion in the first quarter of 2019, which is the highest it has been since 2014.
“This was due to a higher goods surplus and smaller income and services deficit. The goods surplus increased to RM33.8 billion amid lower imports of intermediate and capital goods,” Azmin said.
He said a smaller deficit of RM1.8 billion was registered by the services account, due mainly to lower net payments for foreign transportation services in line with moderate trade activity.