Finance minister puts Malaysia’s economic recovery post Covid-19 front and centre in Budget 2022

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said Budget 2022 will lay the foundations for the government’s longer-term reform efforts with sustainability continuing to be a major focus. — Bernama pic
Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said Budget 2022 will lay the foundations for the government’s longer-term reform efforts with sustainability continuing to be a major focus. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz today gave a glimpse at what Budget 2022 will focus on: speeding up economic recovery, strengthening economic resilience and catalysing reform.

He said Budget 2022 will lay the foundations for the government’s longer-term reform efforts with sustainability continuing to be a major focus.

In his address at the Invest Malaysia Kuala Lumpur event this morning titled “Rebuilding a Sustainable Economy”, Zafrul said based on various engagements with all sectors, the government would continue to map Budget initiatives towards Sustainable Development Goals.

“Financial assistance will remain ongoing for those most impacted, especially the Bottom 40 group, the unemployed and the vulnerable.

“Support for businesses will remain steadfast, be it via affordable financing schemes or better access to credit or grants, to support operations while pivoting them towards increased automation and digitalisation,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul said that the government also plans to improve the labour market by focusing on hiring incentives in addition to subsidising wages, while enhancing fiscal prudence by improving procurement and debt management process while enhancing tax enforcement measures.

“We will focus on sustainability and improving the resilience of Malaysia’s environment and water assets, following increased focus towards environmental, social and governance (ESG), net-zero emissions targets and further development of the circular economy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul also announced a public-listed companies transformation programme (PLCT) to strengthen the Malaysian economy and position the country on the path to prosperity, inclusivity and sustainability.

He said the initiative would involve five digital guideline books, based on specific pillars slated to be issued by the end of this year.

“These pillars will involve a performance-driven PLC; growing as sustainable, socially responsible and ethical firms; having strong corporate governance; being digitally enabled; and supporting the nation-building drive to advance the economy and community.

“The PLCT will run from 2021 to 2025. It will see our PLCs progress in building a stronger financial position and enhancing their board composition, thereby better positioning them to contribute to the national agenda,” he said.

The finance minister added that the guidebooks would provide direction on best practices, with benchmarks and case studies on becoming stronger corporate entities.

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