KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 -- The government will announce the outcome of a study on the petrol subsidy mechanism for the middle income group (M40) next year, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, here today.
He said the government was studying the said mechanism which should be completed by March 2020.
“The M40 study should be ready in March and we will then make an announcement,” he told reporters after a session on, “In Conversation with the Finance Minister and Halifax Bank of Scotland whistleblower, Paul Moore”, here today.
It was held in conjunction with the International Directors Summit 2019 and the session was moderated by PwC Malaysia partner and forensic services & risk consulting leader, Alex Tan.
Recently, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution was quoted as saying the government would gather the necessary data to determine the number of people in the M40 group eligible for the targeted Petrol Subsidy Programme (PSP) as announced in the 2020 Budget on Friday.
He said his ministry would discuss with the Finance Ministry and relevant agencies like the Road Transport Department to work out a mechanism to identify those eligible.
Lim stressed that the 2020 Budget can be considered the catalyst to encourage economic growth through incentives given, as well as the focus on digitalisation.
He said the Finance Ministry would take into account the proposal to expand the Sales and Service Tax if it did not burden the people.
Earlier in his speech, Lim said Malaysia was among the few economies in the world that experienced faster gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter relative to the previous one.
"Our institutional reforms are the bedrock of our economic resilience," he said, adding, thanks to Malaysia's strong performance in the first half of 2019, the GDP is expected to be at 4.7 per cent this year and 4.8 per cent in 2020.
"If 2018 and 2019 were the years we focused on cleaning up the government, 2020 is the year we go out and make the push to join the ranks of the developed economies.
"Unfortunately, our push for Vision 2020 was derailed by previous excesses," he added.
He said the old scandals put Malaysia in the global spotlight for the wrong reasons, and eroded much of the trust in the government’s ability to safeguard the interest of investors, businesses and the people in accordance with the rule of law.
Hence, he said the government is rebuilding public trust and delivering a corrupt free administration through via the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP), among others.
"The World Bank last week released the latest 2019 Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) that measure institutional quality of more than 200 countries.
"Malaysia is among the best improved countries in the WGI, especially in the areas of accountability, government effectiveness, rule of law and anti-corruption," he added.
Meanwhile, he said the female labour force participation rate is low at 55 per cent due to various factors, and below the government’s target of 60 per cent.
“The World Bank in its recent report stated that our income per capita could increase by 26 per cent if we eliminate all the barriers women faced in the labour market.
"Moreover, we are closing in on our target to have at least 30 per cent women on the Board of Directors of the top 100 listed companies in Malaysia.
"According to the Securities Commission, women representation increased to 23.7 per cent in 2018 from 16.6 per cent in 2016," Lim said.