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2013 Budget all about ideal balance


TAILORED: 'Treasury has been consulting focus groups'

 BUTTERWORTH: THE 2013 Budget will reflect the government's comprehensive approach in balancing the distribution of wealth to the people and sustaining economic growth.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said yesterday the budget was critical in ensuring the country remains on the right track to achieve developed nation status by 2020.

As such, the budget is being tailored to achieve an ideal balance between fair distribution of wealth, including a social safety net and boosting economic growth in a challenging external environment.

"The Treasury has been consulting various focus groups and looking at various aspects not only to ensure short-term economic growth but also to serve for the longer term growth in the coming years," he said.

"So I think this is going to be a very bold, well-thought-out budget to serve as a platform for many years to come and the Finance Ministry is having a comprehensive view on the budget."

Nor Mohamed was speaking to newsmen after opening the SK Teluk Air Tawar library, which received a RM100,000 upgrade by Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Bhd (PNMB), here yesterday.

Present were PNMB chairman Tan Sri Dr Zulkefli A. Hassan and its managing director Izham Yusoff.

Nor Mohamed, who is also the Tasek Gelugor member of parliament, said the government was also looking beyond achieving quantity growth above the five per cent gross domestic product (GDP) mark.

He said the government would continue with its policy of wealth distribution to the people.

"Over the years, the Barisan Nasional government has successfully struck a balance between the demand for economic growth and ensuring the nation's wealth is well distributed among the people, so we will stick to the policy."

The budget will also reflect the government's commitment in sustaining its fiscal discipline to keep the nation's debt at a manageable level, given that a significant amount of the government debt were sourced from local institutions.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also the Finance Minister, will table the 2013 Budget in Parliament on Sept 28.

Malaysia's GDP for the second quarter of this year grew at 5.4 per cent, surpassing the 4.6 average forecast by economists amidst weakening global market due to the Euro zone crisis.

The growth outpaced Singapore and Japan which recorded a 2 per cent and 1.4 per cent growth respectively during the same period.

Sekolah Kebangsaan Teluk Air Tawar students listen as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop reads aloud after opening the school library yesterday. Pic by Asman Ibrahim

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