PM Najib to announce budget adjustments

PM Najib to announce budget adjustments
Testing times: Najib receiving a mock cheque for flood relief after delivering his speech during the gathering in Putrajaya.

PUTRAJAYA - With the changing global economic landscape, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is adjusting Budget 2015 with both proactive and pre-emptive measures to ensure sustainable development and the resilience of the economy.

At a special function today, he will announce actions and policy interventions to handle the changing economic scenario caused by the oil price slump.

When Najib, who is also Finance Minister, tabled Budget 2015 last year with an expected expenditure of RM273.9bil (S$102bil) against an expected revenue of RM235.2bil, oil price averaged around US$90 (S$120) per barrel. But the price has been falling and is expected to drop to as low as US$40 in the first six months of this year.

"The 60 per cent fall in oil price affects the global economy and Malaysia is not spared from it," he said yesterday at the Prime Minister's Department's first monthly assembly for the year.

"Amid this new scenario, we will act more proactively to ensure a sustainable growth rate and protect the people's rights so that their well-being is not adversely affected."

Najib noted that the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on April 1 could help the Government's efforts to consolidate fiscal measures to make the country's finances strong and resilient.

He added that the 11th Malaysia Plan, which is scheduled to be tabled in Parliament in May, would also need to incorporate measures to ensure continued development of the nation and the rakyat and that Malaysia achieved developed nation status by 2020.

He said these would include measures to help the rakyat and the business community affected by the recent floods.

On the security threat, Najib added that efforts to handle militant threats should involve other agencies and not just the police.

"Jakim (the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) could clarify the meaning of jihad in order to avoid confusion and prevent the people from joining militant groups.

Najib also said Malaysia would be comprehensively promoted this year following its selection as ASEAN Chair.

"We will announce the ASEAN Community this year and all efforts made should put Malaysia's image in the best possible light."

Najib also expressed hope that 2015 would strengthen bonds and the people could act in the spirit of equality to face the future.

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