New Straits Times
1 October 2019
Lim: Jobs creation with reasonable pay to be emphasised in 2020 Budget
PUTRAJAYA: The 2020 Budget will emphasise on creating more job opportunities with reasonable pay to give Malaysians the desire and motivation to work, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said there is a need to ensure that every Malaysian get an equal opportunity to find a job with reasonable pay.
“I believe that Malaysian workers are better than foreign workers from Bangladesh or Myanmar, but you must give them the right incentive.
“There is no reason for our workers to lose out to Myanmar and Bangladesh, but what is lacking is perhaps the motivation and desire, which can be found through better pay,” he told Bernama.
The 2020 Budget will be tabled in Parliament on Oct 11, 2019.
Lim said the emphasis should also be put on how to create jobs with reasonable pay that commensurate with their skills.
In his speech during the 2020 Budget consultation meeting on June 27, Lim said the government is actively managing living cost pressures faced by the people.
Inflation rates for March, April and May 2019 remained low and stable at 0.2 per cent.
He said wage growth is just as crucial as managing living costs as there is little comfort to take from gross domestic products growth if wages do not increase as well.
“To have higher growth, the only sustainable way of doing so is to raise our productivity. The government has identified Industry 4.0 as the new source of productivity and economic growth. This specifically means the digitalisation of the economy, and wider application of new technology such as artificial intelligence, big data and robotics in our daily life,” he said.
In the 2019 Budget, the government had introduced several measures to catalyse the digitalisation process, especially among the Small-and-Medium Enterprises (SMEs), such as guarantee schemes by the government-owned Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Bhd (SJPP) and RM3 billion via the Industry Digitalisation Transformation Fund managed by Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd.
Meanwhile, Lim said the Finance Ministry has also adopted a new policy this year which would return all savings made by any ministry, through administrative reforms, to the same ministry.
He said in the past, these savings would revert back to the government but with the new policy, ministries were now able to fully enjoy any savings generated from administrative reforms.
“This will allow them to carry out more projects because they will not need the Finance Ministry’s approval when they need to utilise these savings.
“We see that ministries are already motivated to cut down costs so they can use the savings for other projects. We think this can be a game-changer five years down the road,” he added. – BERNAMA