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Initiatives to improve the wellbeing of Malaysians and those from the Bottom 40 (B40) group announced in the Budget 2020 will help to reduce the income gap between the wealthy and the less well-off, says MIDF Research. - NSTP/RAMDZAN MASIAM
Initiatives to improve the wellbeing of Malaysians and those from the Bottom 40 (B40) group announced in the Budget 2020 will help to reduce the income gap between the wealthy and the less well-off, says MIDF Research. - NSTP/RAMDZAN MASIAM

KUALA LUMPUR: Initiatives to improve the wellbeing of Malaysians and those from the Bottom 40 (B40) group announced in the Budget 2020 will help to reduce the income gap between the wealthy and the less well-off, says MIDF Research.

These measures it said, included a targeted approach for petrol subsidies and expanding the number of Bantuan Sara Hidup recipients as well as measures to make housing more affordable for the rakyat.

“Budget 2020 reflects the government’s commitment to reduce income inequality between rural and urban areas by allocating the largest portion of development expenditure to Sabah and Sarawak, which will be used to expand coverage of basic infrastructure – water, electrification and roads,” it said in a statement today.

The research firm also noted that youth employment remained a challenge, even though the economy was running at full employment.

It commended the government’s decision to give hiring incentives to employers who hire unemployed graduates and giving wage incentives to graduates themselves.

MIDF also said steps taken to re-engineer economic growth with a focus on small and medium enterprises and the digital economy, would drive the provision of high value and knowledge intensive activities.

These activities will contribute towards the creation of new job opportunities, especially in the manufacturing and services sector.

“Emphasis on increasing efficiency and productivity will be net positive to Malaysia’s economic growth, while at the same time reduce our dependence on foreign labour and increase the competitiveness of our products in the export market,” it said.

The research firm said the government was optimistic that the economy would remain buoyant.

The economy is expected to remain resilient next year and continue to perform at a moderate pace of around 4.5 per cent to 4.7 per cent due to less growth impetus from external sources.

“As for 2019, we maintain our forecast for the economy to grow by 4.9 per cent,” said the firm. - BERNAMA

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