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Subsidy rationalisation, fiscal consolidation programmes to continue

PUTRAJAYA: Subsidy rationalisation and fiscal consolidation programmes will continue despite current challenges to economic growth, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said today.

Wahid, who chairs the government’s newly-formed Special Economic Committee, said challenges, including the depreciation of the ringgit, was also unlikely to affect other government projects such as the Mass Rapid Transit.

“Our investment commitments, especially those that are for the good of the people such as public transport, will continue. “The rate of implementation will be adjusted from time to time, depending on our fiscal position.

We are committed to fiscal consolidation,” he said after chairing the committee’s first meeting at the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) here.

Wahid said the committee was given a comprehensive briefing by representatives from Bank Negara, EPU, the Securities Commission and the private sector on the current state of the economy and financial markets.

“The briefing was crucial to enable the committee and its members to have a complete diagnosis of the economic and market environment, the potential scenarios that may unfold and its potential impact before the government formulates the relevant specific policy responses and measures.”

Any recommendations by the committee, he said, would be then submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who will, when appropriate, announce the measures or policy options to be taken.

Other members who attended the meeting included Khazanah Nasional Bhd deputy chairman Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, its managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, the Chief Advisor to the China Banking Regulatory Commission Tan Sri Andrew Sheng Len Tao, and Symphony Life Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Mohamed Azman Yahya.

The committee, announced last week, was tasked with identifying immediate and medium-term measures to help stabilise the ringgit and strengthen the economy amidst a volatile global situation. The committee is scheduled to hold another meeting on Friday.

Source : http://www.nst.com.my/node/98854