Malaysia's 2015 budget

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 10): Prime Minister Najib Razak presented Malaysia's 2015 budget proposals on Friday, stressing plans to balance the budget by 2020, starting by lowering the deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product in 2015 from 3.5 percent at the end of this year.

KEY POINTS:

Economic growth expected to between 5.0-6.0 pct in 2015

New sales tax, more corporate taxes revenues to boost total revenues by 6.8 percent

Overall bill for subsidies, cash assistance to fall by over 7 percent

Govt expects to lower debt to 52.8 percent of GDP this year, down from 54.7 pct in 2013

COMMENTS

WELLIAN WIRANTO, ECONOMIST, OCBC BANK IN SINGAPORE

"It's not highlighting anything new...but in many ways the lack of surprises is actually a good thing."

"So (the fiscal deficit target of) 3.5 percent this year, highly achievable partly because of the GDP good growth that we're going to see this year, and also for next year, 3.0 percent sounds quite ambitious but I think it's achievable especially if they continue to commit to another round of fuel subsidy cut say sometime next year."

"I don't think there's any huge negative surprise."

"I would say probably largely a non-event from the market perspective."

KRYSTAL TAN, ASIA ECONOMIST AT CAPITAL ECONOMICS IN SINGAPORE:

"As for growth, we are a little bit more cautious. We still see growth around 5 percent, which is at the bottom end of the government's new target range. We are still quite concerned about the high debt levels."

"(Net revenue from GST) looks quite low... because there are good exemptions and cash handouts that are going to come into play."

MICHAEL WAN, ANALYST AT CREDIT SUISSE IN SINGAPORE

"My suspicion is that the government in 2015 probably has to do at least one more round of fuel subsidy (reform) in order to achieve the 3 percent fiscal deficit target."

"Second point is that in terms of the net revenue gain from GST, it seems to be quite small."