PM presents 2013 budget
Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday delivered his 2013 budget speech to the Malaysian House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat).
The speech was described by most opponents as a major giveaway budget prior to a general election and certainly there were lots of initiatives designed to help ordinary people (rakyat).
Some of the more interesting points of the speech are provided below whilst the full text of the speech can be found here.
11. The 2013 Budget will allocate RM251.6 billion for the implementation of development projects, programmes and measures, with focus on the well-being of the rakyat and national development. Of this amount, RM201.9 billion is for Operating Expenditure while RM49.7 billion, for Development Expenditure.
12. Under Operating Expenditure, RM58.6 billion is allocated for Emoluments and RM33.7 billion is allocated for Supplies and Services. Meanwhile, RM107.3 billion is allocated for Fixed Charges and Grants, while RM1.1 billion is provided for the Purchase of Assets. The remaining RM1.2 billion is for Other Expenditures.
13. As for Development Expenditure, RM30 billion is allocated to the economic sector for infrastructure, industrial, agriculture and rural development. A total of RM11.1 billion is allocated to the social sector including education and training, health, welfare, housing and community development. In addition, RM4.6 billion is allocated for the development of the Security Sector, RM2 billion for General Administration and RM2 billion for Contingencies.
14. In 2013, the Federal Government revenue collection is estimated at RM208.6 billion compared with RM207.2 billion in 2012. Taking into account the estimated revenue and expenditure, the Federal Government fiscal deficit will further decline to 4% of GDP in 2013 from 4.5% in 2012. This reflects the Government’s commitment to continue reducing the fiscal deficit to a lower level.
Boosting Investment Activity
17. The Government will continue to accelerate the implementation of the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs). In 2013, a sum of RM3 billion is allocated for the implementation of entry point projects (EPPs). This includes RM1.5 billion for agriculture projects such as oil palm, rubber, high-value herbs and paddy. A total of RM500 million will be allocated for the River of Life project for the beautification of the Klang River. Meanwhile, an additional RM300 million is provided for replacement of water pipelines and sewage to improve water supply and sewage system.
18. To encourage domestic investment and accelerate the participation of Malaysian companies in the global supply chain, the Government has established the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund worth RM1 billion under the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). The fund aims to leverage outsourcing activities and acquisition of technology by Malaysian companies. Additionally, the Government has reintroduced the incentive for the acquisition of foreign companies and a special tax rate to encourage local service providers to merge into bigger entities.
30. The Government will also allocate RM30 million for agricultural development programmes, including high-technology applications in fruit and vegetable production, increase the supply of high-quality seedlings, price stabilisation through direct selling from farms, establishment of fish markets for the rakyat as well as improving agricultural training institutions. The Government will also allocate RM75 million to increase the output of food and health products.
31. For the plantation subsector, RM432 million is allocated under the NKEA for oil palm replanting programmes. The initiative will increase the annual oil palm yield to 26.2 tonnes per hectare in 2020 compared with 21 tonnes per hectare currently. In addition, RM127 million is allocated for the development of high-value oleo derivatives to transform the downstream industry towards higher production of derivatives.
Finance and Corporate Wakaf
51. As an initiative to promote Malaysia as an international financial hub and to attract FDI, the Government launched the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) on 30 July 2012 with a gross development value of RM26 billion. TRX will provide new investment opportunities by connecting the business community with the global market. TRX is expected to attract 250 international financial services companies and offer 40,000 knowledge and skilled job opportunities.
52. To encourage major international financial institutions to make Kuala Lumpur a preferred investment centre, income tax exemption for 10 years for TRX-status companies, stamp duty exemption, industrial building allowance and accelerated capital allowance for TRX Marquee-status companies as well as tax exemption for property developers are being provided. The development of TRX is on schedule. Meanwhile, the realignment of existing utilities on the TRX site is well underway and is expected to be completed in October 2012.
Green Technology Development
77. In the 2010 Budget, the Government established the Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS) with a fund of RM1.5 billion for three years ending 31 December 2012. The Fund enables companies which are producers and users of green technology to obtain soft loans, with the Government subsidising 2% of the interest rate and providing a guarantee of 60% on the amount of financing. To date, approximately RM800 million has been approved to 50 local companies. To further boost the production and utilisation of green technology-based products, the fund for GTFS will be increased by RM2 billion and the application period extended for another three years ending 31 December 2015.
Developing the Rural Community
106. Rural areas will continue to be developed to reduce the disparity between urban and rural areas. In 2013, a sum of RM4.5 billion will be allocated to implement various rural infrastructure development projects including :
First: Providing RM1.2 billion to develop 441 kilometres rural roads and village link road projects to benefit 220,000 villagers;
Second: Providing RM1.6 billion for rural utility infrastructure projects which involves water supply to 24,000 houses and electricity supply to 19,000 houses;
Third: Providing RM137 million to finance Program Desa Lestari involving 29 villages nationwide and benefiting 38,000 villagers. Major programmes include upgrading of food and marine product processing plants, construction of new jetties, marketing centres and tourism complexes as well as organising recreational and homestay activities;
Fourth: Providing RM88 million to implement economic development programmes and water supply projects for the Orang Asli community; and
Fifth: Providing RM100 million to supply 40,000 water tanks for rainwater harvesting, particularly in the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak.
125. A total of RM500 million will be spent by PR1MA to build 80,000 houses in major locations nationwide with the selling price ranging between RM100,000 and RM400,000 per unit. Among the locations are Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam, Johor Bahru, Seremban and Kuantan.
126. In addition, PR1MA will provide the Housing Facilitation Fund totalling RM500 million to build houses in collaboration with private housing developers. The house prices under this programme will be 20% lower than the market price and distributed through an open balloting system.
127. Meanwhile RM320 million will be allocated through SPNB to build 22,855 residential units including low and medium-cost apartments, Rumah Mesra Rakyat and Rumah Mampu Milik. SPNB’s housing projects, which will be implemented immediately, include the construction of 1,855 medium-cost apartment units with a built-up area of 850 square feet in Shah Alam and Sungai Buloh. These units will be sold at about RM120,000 to RM220,000 per unit.
128. With regard to Rumah Mesra Rakyat programme, SPNB will build a total of 21,000 houses in 2013. Under this programme, SPNB will construct houses priced at RM65,000 per unit with a subsidy of RM20,000 as well as a 2% subsidy on interest rate.
129. In addition, a sum of RM543 million will be provided to Jabatan Perumahan Negara for the implementation of 45 projects under the Rakyat Housing Programme (PPR) involving 20,454 units which will be constructed through the Industrialised Building System (IBS). These units of houses will be sold at a price between RM30,000 and RM40,000 per unit, much lower than the market price of about RM120,000 per unit. The Government will also allocate 20% of the PPR houses to public sector employees and 1% to the disabled.”