Govt collating feedback for ‘targeted incentives’

KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said the government is in the midst of getting feedback to formulate “targeted incentives” which will ensure the stimulus given under Budget 2017 meet its objectives to create employment and grow the economy.

“There will be no more stereotype incentives,” he said when met after giving a luncheon talk entitled “Malaysia’s Economy: Challenges and the Way Forward” organised by the Malaysian Press Institute.

The budget is to be tabled on Oct 27, 2017.

He reiterated the government’s focus in dishing out the right stimulant for the economy and to ensure that every dollar spent brings back “good” impact to the economy.

“For those (expenditure) which do not bring any multiplier impact to the economy, we have to KIV. We need to make sure that every institution is independent and not just depend on the government for funds. We need institutions to be innovative too,” Johari said.

He stated the country managed to weather through the many challenges, the most recent of which was the volatility of commodity prices in 2015 and 2016, due to the strength of its economy which has grown to RM1.3 trillion and is well diversified.

In terms of gross domestic product, the services industry contributes about 54%, manufacturing 23% while oil and gas contributes about 9%.

Johari said the strength of the economy and capital market which managed to see Malaysia through the RM32 billion outflow of foreign capital in the first three months of the year, should help the country manage future challenges, with the government looking at other ways to bolster the economy.

On whether 1Malaysia Development Bhd, a unit under the Ministry of Finance, has made a US$603 million (RM2.6 billion) bond payment due to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co under a settlement agreement between IPIC and 1MDB, he stated that it is a matter being addressed by the board of 1MDB and he is unaware of the status of the payment and yet to receive word on it.