Budget no strain on nation’s finances


STILL MANAGEABLE: Pulai Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed says the national debt is low compared with that of developed countries

JOHOR BARU: THE 2013 Budget will not put a strain on the country’s financial resources, but in fact will help to spur the economy  next year.

 “Malaysians should not be concerned over the national debt as it is still  low  compared with  European countries, the United States, and  other developed countries.

“The RM251.6 billion allocated  for next year’s budget will not put the country at risk of a debt crisis,” said Pulai Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed yesterday.

 He said   fears that the country would be in a financial crisis was unwarranted as Malaysia could still maintain its fiscal deficit and was in a better shape than some developed nations.

 Nur Jazlan,  a chartered accountant, said the country’s debt at 53.7 per cent of gross domestic product was still at a comfortable level.

 “As long as we can service our immediate interest requirements on the debt, we are still safe,” he said after launching  Bank Simpanan Nasional’s (BSN) Premium Savings Certificate for last month at the concourse area of the Galleria@Kotaraya here recently.

 Nur Jazlan was the guest-of-honour in his capacity as  Uda Holdings Bhd chairman.

He said such irresponsible statements that the country’s finances would be in the red were from opposition political parties that were bent on painting a negative picture of  Budget 2013.

 “The budget is a good one and we need to recognise that the government has to spend in certain areas to encourage economic growth.”

 Pulai Johor is one of the largest parliamentary constituencies in Malaysia.

Some 98,000  of Pulai’s 280,000 residents are registered voters.

 Nur Jazlan noted that  the country was rich in natural resources which translates to available liquid assets.

“The public must understand that now is not the time for the country to go into austerity measures in the budget as we need to  spur the economy.”

Nur Jazlan said the announcement of the one percentage point   tax reduction for those with a taxable income of between RM2,500 and  RM50,000 was seen as a welcome move to restructure the  tax system in a fairer way.

He lauded the move by the government and hoped that the public would appreciate it . He said the move  was also meant  to  prepare Malaysians for the introduction of the  goods and services tax.

Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (centre) handing the key to a BMW 320i to lucky draw winner Mahzan Ismail. Looking on (second from left) is BSN Islamic Banking Department senior vice-president Mohd Sofi Mat Jahaya. Pic by Mohamad Shahril Badri Saali

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