KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) said its preliminary budget proposals to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) included a breakdown of RM45 billion for Covid-19 and economic recovery as laid out in a bipartisan agreement with the government.
The PH Economic Policy Committee today said among the breakdown of RM45 billion — which was agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding on Political Stability and Transformation — was RM4 billion for the health sector to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, including subsidising self-test kits and implementing rigorous “Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support” (FTTIS) measures; RM30 billion in grants and subsidies for the economic sector; RM6 billion in work hiring incentives in the form of Malaysians@Work programme previously proposed in Budget 2020 and at least RM5 billion for households in the form of welfare payments.
“We have also requested for a RM2 billion budget to make available soft loans of up to RM50,000 for micro, small and medium enterprises via the BSN to be granted to businesses which have been badly affected by the pandemic, including F&B, travel and tourism and retail.
“In our preliminary proposal, we have also asked for improved social protection via improved i-Suri and i-Saraan contributions, expansion of the MySalam scheme for M40s, childcare subsidies for those who have lost their jobs,” the committee said in a statement today.
The PH committee also highlighted other budget proposals including to focus on investments in the green and digital economy, with grants and subsidies to accelerate the growth in these sectors.
They also called on the government to assist successful local companies to become regional and global champions, while at the same time, providing greater incentives to attract the top global companies to set up operations in Malaysia.
“We have also requested for the Budget to provide a focus on Sabah and Sarawak, by investing more in healthcare facilities, increasing the Special Grant to Sabah and Sarawak under Section 112D of the Federal Constitution as well as to ensure that East Malaysia will receive at least 30 per cent of the development budget.
“Other matters discussed included the need for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) compliance and reporting, as well as a gender-responsive budget.
“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,” said the statement.
According to PH, the first meeting with MOF was held on September 21 after the MOU signing on September 13.
The PH delegation to the meeting included DAP’s Lim Guan Eng, as Chong Chieng Jen and Tony Pua; Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution, Fuziah Salleh and Wong Chen from PKR; and Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus and Ir Izham Hashim for Amanah.
MOF were represented by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz, his deputy, Mohd Shahar Abdullah, as well as the key officers of the ministry.
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