KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 2): Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF) said the initiatives announced in Budget 2019 to assist the Bottom 40% (B40) income earners and measures to improve the well-being of Malaysians will be positive towards reducing the income gap between the rich and the poor.
Measures announced include a more targeted approach for subsidies and cash handouts, as well as measures to make housing more affordable for the people.
"We need to address income inequality and ensure a shared prosperity," its group managing director Datuk Charon Wardini Mokhzani said in a statement today.
He added that Budget 2019 came in "far better than expected".
Malaysia has revised downwards its projected gross domestic product growth rate to 4.8% for 2018 from the previously announced 5%-5.5%.
"The forecast growth figure indicates the government’s cautiously optimistic view with respect to the current economic landscape. MIDF is confident that the domestic growth target can be achieved given
various measures and strategies adopted by the government despite adverse developments," said Charon.
"Budget 2019 has the optimal mix of stimulus, incentives and safeguards needed to navigate what is expected to be another challenging year ahead," he added.
MIDF is of the view that the focus on Industrial Revolution 4.0 and Technical Education and Vocational Training (TVET) are steps in the right direction and are expected to further boost future income level of Malaysians.
"We must also invest in the future. Our long term economic growth depends on us embracing the fourth industrial revolution and having a skilled work-force and therefore the budget allocations for Industry 4.0 promotion and TVET are salutary,” said Charon.