SERC: Budget 2018 to focus on socio-economic aspects

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KUALA LUMPUR: The upcoming Budget 2018 is likely to focus on socio-economic aspects such as being more people-centric and supportive of businesses, considering that this will be the last budget to be tabled before the 14th General Election.

“There will be continuous focus on socio-economic projects apart from infrastructure projects, at the same time they want to make sure that operating expenditures – including the BR1M would have to be realigned to the revenue side,” said the Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC) executive director Lee Heng Guie, who was speaking to reporters at the quarterly economy tracker media briefing today.

SERC’s wishlist for what it deems as the “least painful budget” encompasses capital allowances and incentives to spur investment in ICT and tax cuts and reliefs for corporates, individuals and households, among others.

Adding on, Lee said the government is on track of hitting the 3% fiscal deficit target this year and may narrow further to 2.8% next year, on the back of higher dividend payout from Petronas and revenue from Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection.

However, he said it may be difficult for the government to achieve its fiscal balance target by 2020, if its not prudent with its spending and address leakages.


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