Friday, October 23, 2009

Malaysian 2010 Budget: Stepping Stone Towards A High-income Economy

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak on Friday tabled the 2010 Budget totalling RM191.5 billion and which has a three-pronged strategy to drive the nation towards a high-income economy; ensuring holistic and sustainable development; and focusing on the well-being of the people.

Najib, in tabling his maiden budget as the prime minister with the theme '1Malaysia, Together We Prosper', allocated RM138.3 billion or 72.2 per cent for operating expenditure and RM53.2 billion or 27.8 per cent for development expenditure.

The expenditure allocation for the 2010 Budget is 11.2 per cent less compared to the 2009 Budget allocation of RM215.7 billion, he said when tabling the 2010 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat this evening.

Najib said that to drive the country towards a high-income economy, the government would encourage increased private investment, provide a buisness-friendly environment and implement privatisation initiatives.

The government will also enhance implementation of public-private partnership initiatives; intensify foreign direct investment; intensify research, development and commercialisation; and fully leverage niche-areas.

To fully leverage the niche areas the government will boost the tourism industry; strengthen the information and communication technology industry; and intensify the halal industry.

Also under this strategy towards a high-income economy, Najib said the government will advance the agriculture sector; promote the construction industry; strengthen small and medium industries; develop green technology and promote construction of green buildings; and promote the creative industry.

The prime minster said to achieve the second strategy which was to ensure holistic and sustainable development, highly skilled human capital will be enhanced while access to quality and affordable education will be expanded.

Najib said the government will safeguard the welfare of students, enhance skills of the workforce, expand the Permata programme and strengthen public institutions of higher education.

This strategy will also strengthen the banking and financial system by invigorating the stock market; further develop the Islamic finance system and Ar-Rahnu micro credit programme; and combat corruption.

Najib further said the government will also stress on the development of the regional corridors, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.

Najib said under the operating expenditure, RM42.2 billion is allocated for emoluments and RM20.8 billion for supplies and services, RM73.9 billion was for fixed charges and grants while RM524 million was provided for purchase of assets and the remaining RM800 million for other expenditures.

As for development expenditure, a sum of RM25.4 billion is provided for the economic sector to support the needs of infrastructure, industry and agriculture as well as rural development.

The prime minister said RM20.3 billion is allocated to the social sector encompassing education and training, health, welfare, housing and community development, RM3.7 billion is for the development of the security sector, RM1.8 billion for general administration and RM2 billion for contingencies.

Najib said federal government revenue in 2010 is expected to reduce 8.4 per cent to RM148.4 billion compared with RM162.1 billion in 2009.

However, he said the federal government deficit in 2010 is expected to be in a better position at 5.6 per cent of GDP compared with 7.4 per cent in 2009.

Najib said although the 2010 Budget is the last budget for the Ninth Malaysia Plan (PMP) it is the essential foundation for the development of the new economic model and a precursor to the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).

He said since assumning leadershiip of the government he had taken steps to stimulate the economy for the well-being of the people.

Referring to the 1Malaysia concept, People First, Performance Now he said it is based on positive values centred on social justice and acceptance of a multiracial society.

"This means the needs of the people and the people must always take precedence. Therefore, every step requires sacrifice and strong cooperation from every segment of society," he said.

The prime minister said in advancing towards a high-income economy, the government will take a new approah based on innovation, creativity and high-valued activities.

"These measures will more than double per capita income of the people in the next 10 years," he said.

At the end of his speech that took more than two hours, Najib urged everyone to come together with one voice, one hope and one aspiration for the beloved country.

"Our recent success in Bagan Pinang has sparked our zeal to embark on this journey of transformation to lift our beloved nation to greater heights," he said referring to Barisan Nasional's big win in the Bagan Pinang by-election recently.

"Indeed, this budget touches the heart and soul of all Malaysians. Indeed, this is an earnest and sincere contribution from the government to the people.

"Let us strengthen our resolve, set our goals and uphold the 1Malaysia concept. United, we can realise the impossible. 1Malaysia, Together We Prosper," Najib said, ending his speech to thuderous applause from government supporters in the Dewan Rakyat.

*Taken from Bernama

*To download Malaysian 2010 Budget Speech, click here

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