Harapan outlines Budget 2022 proposals, to engage govt over four meetings

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Harapan outlines Budget 2022 proposals, to engage govt over four meetings
Harapan outlines Budget 2022 proposals, to engage govt over four meetings

Pakatan Harapan has presented its Budget 2022 proposals in the first of four meetings with the government.

The budget engagement is a condition set out in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between Harapan and the government.

“In the meeting, we discussed the new proposed framework for dialogue and consultation between the government and Harapan for Budget 2022 and other finance-related Acts.

“It has been agreed that the main committee will meet with Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and his team for another three meetings, while a working committee will be set up to discuss the finer details of any proposed measures,” the Harapan economic committee said in a statement.

The first meeting took place on Tuesday (Sept 21). The nine-member Harapan team was led by former finance minister Lim Guan Eng, who is also DAP secretary-general.

The other members are PKR’s secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution, Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, and Subang MP Wong Chen, Amanah’s strategy director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Hulu Langat MP Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus and Pandan Indah assemblyperson Izham Hashim, as well as DAP’s Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen and Damansara MP Tony Pua.

The government was represented by Zafrul, his deputy Mohd Shahar Abdullah and key officers from the Finance Ministry.

“We hope that these proposals will be provided with full consideration as they are certainly in line with the minister’s proposed ‘Recovery, Resilience and Reform’ framework for Budget 2022,” it said.

The Harapan team detailed to the government its proposed RM45 billion fiscal package which was also part of the MOU. They include:

  • RM4 billion for the healthcare sector (to subsidise Covid-19 self-test kits and implement a rigorous “find, test, trace, isolate and support” (FTTIS) regime

  • RM30 billion in grants for the economic sector

  • RM6 billion in work hiring incentives

  • RM5 billion welfare payments for households

  • RM2 billion short loans of up to RM50,000 for micro, small and medium enterprises

  • Improvements to the i-suri and i-saraan contributions

  • expansion of the MySalam insurance scheme for the M40

  • childcare subsidy for those who lost their jobs

  • Investments, grants and subsidies in green and digital economy

  • Assist successful local firms to go regional/global

  • Provide greater incentives to attract global firms

  • More investment in Sabah and Sarawak healthcare facilities

  • Increase the special grant to East Malaysia

  • Ensure East Malaysia receives at least 30 percent of the development budget

  • Environment, social and governance compliance

  • Need for a gender-responsive budget

The Harapan economic committee comprises Pua, Dzulkefly, Wong, PKR’s Wangsa Maju MP Tan Yee Kew and Kangar MP Noor Amin Ahmad, Amanah’s Ammar Atan and Syeikh Khuzaifah as well as DAP’s Raja Iskandar Fareez and E Hun Tan.

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