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THE upcoming Budget 2023 will focus on enhancing the momentum of economic recovery, strengthening economic resilience, and implementing comprehensive reforms.

The outlook for 2023 is increasingly uncertain due to global developments – the ongoing Ukraine conflict, high commodities and food prices globally, supply chain disruptions, high inflation prompting tightening of monetary policies and lower global growth outlooks. Therefore, Budget 2023 will need to enhance Malaysia’s recovery while safeguarding businesses and in turn the rakyat, against current and future challenges.

Out of the four pillars of Budget 2023, the business pillar aims to improve the competitiveness of small to medium-sized enterprises (SME), enhance ease of doing business, speed up tourism industry recovery, promote new growth areas and drive digitalisation and automation.

The economy pillar, on the other hand, aims to promote green growth and sustainable development; enhance access to financing, including for startups; as well as ensuring inclusive development.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) drafted Budget 2023 through various engagement sessions with multiple stakeholders, underscoring economic reforms. It received 5,419 suggestions, 242 memorandums from industry players and non-profit organisations/civil society organisations, conducted 190 engagement sessions with state governments, ministries and target sectors.

The MOF has subsequently published six public consultation papers, which is the compilation of the suggestions and opinions obtained from the public, non-profit organisations, civil society organisations, industry players and other stakeholders.

Budget 2023 aims to spur Malaysian businesses through the implementation of globe rules in Malaysia, improvement of the green procurement policy, the application of environmental social and governance principles in investments by government-linked investment companies and the MOF, introduction policies for the use of goods, services and technologies of local research & development and the financing framework initiative.

Businesses and organisations from various sectors have released their “wishlist” for Budget 2023. Among them, SMEs are hoping that the government will increase grants and facilities for automation and digitalisation in Budget 2023 to help them transition to Industrial Revolution 4.0 and rebound from the pandemic. Meanwhile, the property sector has called for the government to alleviate the homeownership struggles of Malaysians.

Therefore, the MOF has said that Budget 2023 will be a responsive, responsible and reformist budget for Keluarga Malaysia.

However, will it be able to fulfill its pledge when global growth is projected to slow and inflation tops the list of perceived economic hazards?

Budget 2023 will be revealed on Oct 7, 2022. Find out more at budget.mof.gov.my/manfaat/

Budget 2022 achievements:

> Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan (SJPP) assistance worth RM1.74 billion benefitting 3,807 businesses

> Micro Financing Programme for Hawkers and Small Traders worth RM1.44 billion benefitting 64,223 beneficiaries

> MyCIF – Equity crowdfunding & peer-to-peer financing worth RM84.48 million benefitting 2,036 beneficiaries

> The SME Digitization Grant Scheme worth RM38.61 million benefitting 21,575 beneficiaries

> JaminKerja – Wage Incentives worth RM28.8 million benefitting 19,562 businesses

> PSU5.0 (wage subsidy) worth RM210.19 million benefitting 119,813 employees; 7,928 employers

Boraombak Sdn Bhd

Nik Zaiton Nik Abdullah

“My company, Boraombak Marina Putrajaya, is in the food and beverage business as well as event space. For two years, we suffered badly. We received a moratorium and also financial assistance from SME (Bank).

It was easy and simple to obtain the aid. We have always been particular about our performance, both before and during the pandemic. The banks believed in us and were ready to provide us with the relevant assistance.”

Lotus Cable Industries Sdn Bhd

Mani Vannan Suppiah

“During the pandemic period, we didn’t have any receivals and our cash flow became very tight. This is the time we needed to invest in new technology and thankfully, we got the SRF Fund. The government came up with several facilities which have been a great help for us to revive our business. The application was very simple and the approval was fast, too. Within three weeks, we got the approval and the fund was in. That was very helpful for us during the pandemic.”

ZL Empire Sdn Bhd

Zailani Zakaria

“Our courses are mainly done face-to-face. Due to the MCO, we could not run these courses. The phase is too long – four months. We were really affected. But I received the Pemerkasa scheme (Strategic Programme for Empowering the People and the Economy). The process was easy. I would like to take this opportunity to urge the public – don’t be shy to seek assistance – because we all need short and long-term help.”

Economy

> The economy grew in three consecutive quarters: Q4’21 – 3.6%, Q1’22 – 5%, Q2’22 – 8.9%

> Unemployment rate was at 3.7% in July 2022, compared with 5.3% in May 2020

> Inflation rate was at 2.8% for the first seven months of 2022

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