2024 Budget to focus on economic restructuring, improving living standards

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 (Bernama) — The Budget 2024, tabled in Parliament today, places emphasis on the economic restructuring to boost the country’s economic growth, along with efforts to enhance the standard of living for the people through the implementation of various strategic initiatives and immediate reforms.

According to the Economic Outlook 2024 report released by the Ministry of Finance today, the Budget 2024 has three focus areas, namely delivering reforms to enhance governance and public delivery system; transforming the economy and business; and elevating the wellbeing of the rakyat, which are all in line with the MADANI Economy framework.

“The transformation of the economy envisioned under the Budget 2024 aims to initiate reforms to kickstart the implementation of the National Energy Transition Plan, the New Industrial Master Plan 2030, and the Mid-Term Review of the Twelfth Malaysia Plan,” it said. 

In this regard, various incentives and financing facilities are provided to encourage economic complexity, digitalisation, green growth, and broader inclusive growth across the country. 

Greater empowerment of micro, small, and medium enterprises will also be emphasized through financing facilities, competitiveness, human capital upskilling, and export-oriented orientation.

The report stated that Malaysia would also aim to energise innovation in the Islamic economy, particularly Islamic finance and halal products, towards asserting Malaysia’s position as the leader in driving innovations for the global Islamic economy. 

The global halal market is estimated to reach a staggering US$7.7 trillion by 2025. This creates a golden opportunity for Malaysia to secure a more substantial share of the global halal market by enhancing the competitiveness of the domestic halal industry.

The government’s focus areas also include high-growth and high-value industries, aerospace, clean energy, electrical and electronics, chemical, pharmaceutical, and clean energy to propel Malaysia towards technological advancements and competitiveness. 

Additionally, various initiatives will be implemented to enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness as an investment destination, including streamlining the investment promotion agencies, simplifying administrative procedures, and revising relevant laws to create a more investor-friendly environment. 

The 2024 Budget also outlines the government’s efforts to enhance food security, including optimizing the use of existing farms and agricultural technology, as well as the government’s commitment to continue providing financial support to farmers and investors.

Encapsulating the MADANI Economy’s objective to ‘raise the floor,’ the Budget 2024 sets out initiatives to elevate the rakyat’s quality of life in concomitance with ‘raising the ceiling’ of Malaysia’s economic potential.

This includes the creation of meaningful jobs with decent wages, inclusivity and equal opportunities, universal access to education and healthcare, world-class basic utilities, and a more comprehensive social safety net for all Malaysians. 

The initiatives also include ensuring the lower income groups continue to be assisted with the challenges of cost of living in conjunction with the transition towards targeted subsidies. 

Meanwhile, the report said in encouraging women’s participation in economic activities and the return of mothers to the workforce, additional childcare facilities at the workplace will be established, and flexible working hours will be reinforced. 

Institutional reforms will also be carried out to enhance governance and improve the effectiveness of public service delivery and government initiatives. 

The holistic restructuring of Malaysia’s economy requires a whole-of-nation approach, and thus, collaboration would be forged with state governments and non-governmental organisations to meet national development needs. 

“The Budget 2024 therefore marks the start of Malaysia’s journey to rebuild a sustainable, inclusive, and buoyant economy as envisioned in the Ekonomi MADANI Framework,” the report stated.