Budget 2021 formulated based on valid data, says deputy finance minister

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 16): Budget 2021 was formulated based on reports presented by relevant bodies whose data could be determined to be valid, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said.

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Deputy Finance Minister II Mohd Shahar Abdullah said the government would not present the expansionary budget if it did not have confidence in the country’s future economic performance.

"The country's position among the top 20% in gross domestic product (GDP) growth globally is an indicator that gives a broader view.

"We will not table the expansionary budget if we do not have confidence in the future economic performance, instead we presented the estimates and [projected] revenue of 2021," he said when winding up debate on the Finance Bill 2020 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The Dewan Rakyat passed the Finance Bill 2020 that provides several tax breaks to cushion the impact of Covid-19, as provided for under Budget 2021.

Mohd Shahar was responding to remarks made by Wong Chen (Pakatan Harapan [PH]-Subang) that the projections presented by the government in Budget 2021 were unrealistic in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the country this year.

Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim (Barisan Nasional [BN]-Arau), Datuk Jalaluddin Alias (BN-Jelebu) and Chan Ming Kai (PH-Alor Setar) also took part in the debate.

Mohd Shahar said Members of Parliament (MPs) could provide checks and balances if the economic performance did not turn out as expected.

"We are very grateful to the [team] from the MoF who worked hard to ensure that all views were taken into account to ensure that our economy achieves [growth] as projected in the country's GDP in 2021," he said.

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