PUTRAJAYA (October 20): Economic sector recovery strategies will be carried out within the framework of the 2022 budget which was formulated on the basis of the country’s current scenario, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
He said the country is currently going through a recovery period from the Covid-19 pandemic which has nearly crippled the entire business ecosystem.
“The 2022 budget will reflect the government’s determination to revive the country’s economy, thereby restoring the confidence of foreign investors by making Malaysia the main investment destination,” he said.
The 2022 budget will be tabled on October 29.
Tengku Zafrul gave assurances that the government would continue with all aid programs that had been announced to enable a long-term recovery of the economic sector.
He said this in his speech at a ceremony to present letters of acceptance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) facilities under the SME Assistance Program of the National People’s Welfare Program and economic stimulus (PEMULIH) Phase 2.
“The 2022 budget will determine the continuity of policies and assistance to support businesses to be resilient in the face of the crisis, in addition to protecting their livelihoods, the well-being of the rakyat and business continuity.” , did he declare.
Meanwhile, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the country’s stimulus strategies contained in the 2022 budget would ensure that SMEs involved in the tourism sector remain competitive and increase their contribution to gross domestic product (GDP).
According to her, the tourism sector’s GDP contributed 15.9% or 240.5 billion ringgit in 2019, but it fell to 14.1% or 199.4 billion ringgit in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nancy said 337 of the 688 requests for tourism funding under the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) had been approved until September 24, 2021, for funding of RM 66.9 million.
She said the financing facilities represent added value for the SME tourism sector to enable them to reopen their businesses after the government announced approval to cross state borders as of October 11, 2021.
“The tourism sector has been deeply impacted since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, following travel restrictions and the closure of international borders.
“Therefore, various initiatives and stimulus packages have been provided to entrepreneurs in this sector to enable them to stay afloat during the crisis,” she said.
Nancy said the government has also agreed to grant a tourist tax and hotel services tax exemption to hoteliers until the end of this year through PEMULIH, through which RM2.34 billion in tax exemption values have been benefited to operators of accommodation premises.