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Saturday, 28 October 2017

Malaysia's Budget 2018 Highlights

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KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Razak has tabled the RM280 billion Budget for 2018, his last before the next general election which must be called by middle of next year.

Below are Salient points of the budget from Dewan Rakyat.

Civil Servants

• 1.6 million civil servants to receive the following benefits:
– second round time-based promotions
– senior servants who retire due to health reasons will be accorded the same benefits as those who undergo mandatory retirement
– special leave for teachers increased to 10 days a year, up from seven
– seven days unrecorded leave for umrah pilgrimage
– women at least five months pregnant allowed to leave work an hour earlier while husbands accorded the same privilege if their work locations are in close proximity to each other
– maternity leave increased from 300 to 360 days throughout service with a maximum of 90 days a year
– RM1,000 set for minimum pension amount

Senior Citizens, Disabled, Children

• RM1.7 billion for the following areas:
– RM603 million to increase allowance of senior citizens from RM50 to RM350
– RM100 million to increase allowance for the disabled by RM50 a month

Digital Free Trade Zone

• RM83.5 million allocated for DFTZ in Aeropolis, KLIA.
• Increase minimum value for imports from RM500 – RM800.

Sustainable Development

• RM5 billion allocated under Green Technology Funding Scheme.
• RM1.4 billion to reduce non-revenue water programme.
• RM1.3 billion to build Off-River Storage as an alternative water source.
• RM517 million for flood mitigation plans nationwide.

Reduction in Income Tax Rates

• Reduction in individual income tax rates:
– RM20,001 – RM35,000: 5% to 3%
– RM35,001 – RM50,000: 10% to 8%
– RM50,001 – RM70,000: 16% to 14%
• Increase disposable income between RM300-RM1,000 while 261,000 do not have to pay tax

Foreign Domestic Helpers

• Allow employers to hire foreign domestic helpers directly without agent.

GST

• No change to Goods and Services Tax but government to propose either exemption or zerorising certain items and services.
– local councils
– reading materials
– cruise operators
– construction of schools and places of worship funded by approved donations
– oil and gas equipment imports under lease agreement
– import of big ticket items like planes and ships
– management and maintenance of homes with strata titles

Health

• RM27 billion for better quality health services.
• RM4.1 billion for medical supplies and consumables.
• RM1.4 billion to upgrade and maintain health facilities, equipment, ambulances and construction of operation theatres in three hospitals.
• RM100 million to upgrade hospitals and clinics.
• RM50 million to subsidise hemodialysis treatment; and RM40 million for medical assistance fund.
• RM10 million for treatment of rare diseases; RM30 million for health community programmes.
• RM50 million for voluntary health insurance scheme.

Housing

• RM2.2 billion allocated to boost home ownership.

BR1M

• 7 million benefited from RM6.8 billion in BR1M payouts and in 2018 the 7 million will continue to receive the same payout.

Orang Asli Benefits

• RM50 million for Orang Asli for economic development and quality of life enhancement.
• RM60 million for Orang Asli village development.

Indian and Chinese Benefits

• RM50 million for Chinese SME loans through KOJADI.
• RM30 million to be channelled to the 1Malaysia Hawkers and Petty Traders Foundation.
• RM65 million allocated for Chinese New Villages and RM10 million for house restoration.
• RM1.5 billion additional Amanah Saham units for Indians.
• Increase the intake of Indians to IPTA and public service (7%)

Bumiputera Benefits

• RM2.4 billion allocated to UiTM.
• RM3.5 billion for the following initiatives:
– RM2.5 billion for MARA higher education and training scholarships
– RM90 million for Program Peneraju Profesional, Skil dan Tunas
– RM200 million for MARA Graduate Employability Training Scheme or GETS
– RM555 million for Bumiputera Entrepreneurship Enhancement Programme (RM200 million for PUNB Entrepreneurship Programme and Business Premises; RM200 million for MARA Entrepreneurship; RM115 million for Vendor Capacity Programmes).
• RM150 million for Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad and RM150 million to EKUINAS.

Defence

• A total of RM14 billion for armed forces; RM9 billion for police force, RM900 million for Malaysian maritime.
• RM3 billion for purchase and maintenance of defence assets; RM720 million for the construction of 11 police headquarters and six police stations.
• RM490 million to MMEA for repair and maintenance of ships, boats, jetties and procurement of three patrol vessels.
• RM250 million to ESSCOM
• RM50 million to enhance weapon capability to combat terrorism.
• Government to build 40,000 houses in phases for families of armed forces personnel.
• RM40 million to upgrade five hospitals; build four polyclinics and one hospital for veteran armed forces personnel.

Rural Development

• RM200 million allocated for Felda for water supply and road upgrades.
• 112,ooo settlers will each receive windfall worth RM5,000.
• RM43 million allocation for Felda settlers and RM60 million for replanting of oil palm, RM164 million allocation to build 5,000 houses for second generation Felda settlers.
• RM1.1 billion for people-centric projects; RM1 billion to develop communication infrastructure; RM934 million for rural projects; RM672 million for electricity supply; RM420 million for clean water supply inclusive of RM300 million in Sabah and Sarawak covering 3,000 homes; RM500 million for public infrastructure maintenance; RM50 million for mapping and measuring of native customary land
– RM30 million for Sarawak, RM20 million for Sabah.
• RM6.5 billion for rural infrastructure which includes RM2 billion for the Pan Borneo Highway.

Education

• RM4.9 million allocated for 100 scholarships for TVET students.
• RM4.9 billion allocated for Technical and Vocational, Education and Training (TVET).
• RM200 million added to PTPTN fund for B40 families.
• Discount for repayment of PTPTN loans is extended to Dec 31, 2018 (20% for full repayment, 10% for 50% repayment, and 10% for direct debit salary deduction).
• RM100 for 3.2 million schoolchildren totalling RM328 million.
• RM2.9 billion for food aid, text books and minor federal scholarships.
• RM2.5 billion for maintenance of schools – RM500 million in Peninsula, RM1 billion in Sabah, RM1 billion in Sarawak, in addition to an existing special fund for maintenance.
• RM654 million for construction of four pre-schools; nine Permata schools; two centres for children with autism; 48 primary, secondary as well as vocational and matriculation centres.
• RM61.6 billion for development of education.

TN50

• RM20 million for Bukit Jalil sports school.
• RM112 million to construct 14 new sports complexes nationwide.
• RM1 billion to conduct sports initiatives to make country a sports powerhouse.
• RM50 million to fund social enterprise and NGOs to solve communities issues.
• RM40 million for open interview programme under the 1Malaysia training scheme (SL1M).
• All undergraduates and those in Form Six will continue to receive book vouchers.
• RM90 million for MyBrain programme for 10,600 students to further their studies at post-graduate level.
• RM400 million for research and development grants to public institutions of higher learning with a special allocation to Universiti Malaya to achieve status of Top 100 universities in the world.
• RM2.2 billion for JPA scholarships, the ministry of higher education and ministry of health.
• RM20 million for setting up of a Cultural Economy Development agency.
• RM190 million to upgrade 2,000 classes to become smart learning classrooms.
• To enhance present computer science module to include coding programme in primary and secondary school curriculums.
• RM250 million to build science, technology, engineering and mathematics centre.
• Special fund set up for children born between Jan 2018 to Jan 2022.
• Tax relief for employers who employ the disabled that include those involved in accidents and have critical illnesses.
• Local councils to make it mandatory for all new buildings to have childcare facilities, beginning in Kuala Lumpur.

Public Transport

• Government studying proposal for a new airport in Pulau Tioman.
• Government to build new airport for Mukah and expand airport for Kota Bahru and Sandakan.
• Government to upgrade Penang and Langkawi international airports.
• RM55 million transport subsidy for rural rail services from Tumpat to Gua Musang.
• RM45 million to create a biometric control system to monitor the movement of express bus services.
• RM95 million for the repair and construction of jetties as well as river mouth dredging.
• RM1 billion for public transport fund for start-up capital and procurement of assets like buses and taxis.
• RM3 billion for transport development fund for the purchase of maritime assets, aerospace technology development and rail.

Infrastructure

• Special border economic zone in Bukit Kayu Hitam to be developed.
• Pulau Pangkor to be declared a duty-free zone.
• RM230 million to continue central spine road project from Raub to Bentong.
• RM5 billion for the west coast coastal highway from Banting to Taiping.
• Government to expedite MRT3 project by two years from 2027 to 2025.
• RM32 billion for MRT2 project (Sg Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya).
• RM110 million to provide alternative road to Port Klang.

Tourism

• RM30 million to be allocated to the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council to boost medical tourism.
• RM500 million for the promotion and development of tourism.
• RM1 billion to tourism infrastructure development fund.
• RM2 billion fund for SMEs in tourism.

Agriculture

• RM200 monthly for a duration of 3 months for padi farmers while waiting to harvest their crops, which amounts to RM150 million.
• RM200 million for rubber replanting, RM140 million for development, re-planting and promotion of oil palm.
• Almost RM500 million to improve agriculture infrastructure.
• RM2.3 billion in incentives and assistance for the agriculture community.
• RM6.5 billion allocated to the smallholders, farming and fishing communities.

Other Highlights

• RM100 million with a 70% government-guaranteed loan for the furniture export industry.
• RM200 million allocated for training programmes, grants and SME easy loans under SME Corp; and close to RM82 million for halal products and industry development.

• RM2 billion set aside for 70% government-guaranteed loans.
• RM5 billion allocated for start-up capital for businesses.
• RM7 billion allocated to Skim Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan.
• SMEs expected to contribute 41% of GDP by 2020.
• Private sector investment is expected to reach RM260 billion by 2018 and will be the engine of growth.
• Total investments in the country is expected to increase by 6.7% contributing to 25.5% to the GDP for 2018.
• RM26.34 billion for economic sector; RM11.72 billion for the social sector; RM5.22 billion for the security sector; RM2.72 billion for general administration sector.
• Administration budget is RM119.82 billion; other expenditure is RM1.08 billion; asset procurement is RM577 million.
• For 2018, federal government is expected to collect RM239.86 billion in revenue.
• Allocation for Budget 2018 is RM280.25 billion, an increase of over RM20 billion.
• B40 household income has increased to RM3,000 per month from RM2,629 for the period 2014-2016.
• Monthly median income has increased from RM4,585 in 2014 to RM5,288 in 2016.
• Current per capita income stands at RM40,713, expected to reach RM42,777 by 2018.
• Our international reserves now stand at US$101.4 billion.
• In August, exports hit a high of RM80 billion, recording double-digit growth.
• 69% or 2.26 million new jobs created so far from the target 3.3 million to be created by 2020.
• 3 international credit rating agencies have reaffirmed our A-rating with stable prospects.
• Looking at 2009, our fiscal deficit was at 6.7% of the GDP and is expected to decrease to 3% in 2017 and 2.8% in 2018.
• Actual private investment for 2016 is over RM211 billion.
• Government projection growth of between 5.2% to 5.7% for 2017, higher than the projection in March of between 4.3% and 4.8%.
• Projected GDP increase from 4.9% to 5.2% for 2017.
• The country has had a growth rate of 5.7% in the first half of 2017.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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