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BIMB expects expansionary 2020 Budget
Published on: Monday, October 07, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (BIMB) expects the 2020 Budget to be an expansionary budget, strategised towards boosting economic growth while continuing capacity building efforts, particularly in important sectors.

The sectors include electrical and electronic, machinery and equipment, chemical and chemical products, aerospace, medical devices and tourism, said BIMB Chief Executive Officer, Mohd Muazzam Mohamed.

However, he noted that strategising an expansionary budget is a challenging task, given the current global economic uncertainties such as the protracted US-China trade war, the “no-deal” Brexit issue and other geopolitical tensions.

“These factors have directly impacted crude oil prices as well as our other exports, and the 2020 Budget which will be tabled on Oct 11 by the Finance Minister have to take these external uncertainties into account, making an expansionary budget a challenging task,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, on BIMB’s budget wish list, Mohd Muazzam said the bank hopes to see an increase in the allocation to the Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Bhd (SJPP) to enable banks to provide more financing services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector.

The move would boost financial institutions’ confidence in providing loans to SMEs in terms of credit risk management, he said.

The SJPP, which is wholly-owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated, guarantees loans given out by banks to SMEs under the Working Capital Guarantee Scheme and the Industry Restructuring Financing Guarantee Scheme.

BIMB also hopes the government will consider increasing development expenditure to kick-start infrastructure projects that would benefit the construction sector and SME supply chains.

Mega infrastructure projects, such as the Pan Borneo highway, Mass Rapid Transit and high speed rail helps to spur economic growth, said Mohd Muazzam.

He also hopes the government would maintain the oil subsidy to sustain purchasing power and domestic consumption, particularly for those in the middle 40 (M40) and bottom 40 (B40) income bracket, and would only resume subsidy rationalisation once the economic condition improves.

Mohd Muazzam said the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) should also be continued, as the sale of housing units among first time buyers has increased through incentives such as discounts for properties listed under the HOC scheme and the 100 per cent stamp duty exemption for housing properties worth RM1 million and below.

“We also hope that the development of waqf (endowment) land can be explored in this coming budget as there are more than 11,000 hectares of waqf land nationwide,” he said, adding that the lands could be used to construct affordable housing units, especially for the B40 group.

He added the bank also hopes that the tax deduction incentive for donations could be extended to include cash waqf to boost its growth, as the monies will be channelled to projects that will increase economic competitiveness. – Bernama



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