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Focus on reducing fiscal deficit is aimed at boosting investor confidence – Anwar

Focus on reducing fiscal deficit is aimed at boosting investor confidence – Anwar

17 Oct 2023

The government’s focus on reducing the fiscal deficit in Budget 2024 is aimed at boosting investor confidence and spurring economic growth, according to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said if the national deficit increased further, investors would not have confidence in the government leadership.

“If the deficit continues to swell, potential investors will have no confidence, (thinking) that the country is being governed by an irresponsible political leadership line-up or government administration,” he said during the monthly Finance Ministry assembly here today.

Referring to the philosophy of economist and philosopher Adam Smith, Anwar said the best way to manage the economy is like managing the economics of the family.

“Swelling debt that the children can’t afford to pay, means a failure in management. Debt that can be handled later, it is reasonable especially if the debt can bring growth,” he said.

Yesterday, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin was reported as saying in the Dewan Rakyat that the government is seen more interested in pursuing a lower fiscal deficit rate in Budget 2024 rather than preparing a budget that helps the people and stimulates economic growth.

On Friday last week, Anwar tabled the 2024 Budget themed “Economic Reforms, Empowering the People” with an allocation of RM393.8 billion, the highest budget ever tabled in the nation’s history.

In tabling the budget, the Prime Minister said the 2024 fiscal deficit is projected to decrease to 4.3 per cent compared to the target of 5.0 per cent this year and 5.6 per cent in 2022.

Anwar acknowledged that not all wishes submitted for Budget 2024 could be implemented, but said they would be considered for the next budget.

Source: Bernama