Budget 2023: Revised Budget is country’s highest ever

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National debt to hit RM1.2 trillion.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has unveiled the revised national 2023 Budget, in which the government will maintain its spending with the total expenditure of RM388.1 billion this year.

The RM388.1 billion allocation was the largest to be tabled in Parliament, which exceeded last year’s budget of RM332.1 billion.

“The 2023 Budget allocates RM388.1 billion with RM289.1 billion for operations; RM99 billion for development and RM2 billion for contingency savings.

“In line with the expanding fiscal policy, the allocation for development has increased to RM97 billion compared with RM71.6 billion last year.


“The increase is to focus on programmes to eradicate poverty; repair public infrastructure and rural facilities,” he told Dewan Rakyat during the re-tabling of the 2023 Budget today.

Anwar, who is also the prime minister, said the government was projecting the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 4.5 percent.

“Analysis by the World Bank and Fitch estimates the country’s GDP is projected at a rate of 4 percent, taking into account the challenging global economic situation.

“I am confident the country will surpass the projected GDP of 4.5 percent taking into account efforts towards implementing reforms and administrative changes,” he said.

Anwar said the government was expecting revenue collection of RM291.5 billion this year compared with RM294.4 billion last year.

“However, this does not take into account the additional revenue and we are confident the profits will increase this year,” he said.

He also said that the unity government inherited a debt burden that was too high.

He said the national debt will reach RM1.2 trillion, or more than 60 percent of gross domestic product for this year.

“If we calculate the debt and liabilities, we can reach RM1.5 trillion or 81 percent of GDP.

“The debt service payments this year has also reached RM46 billion, or 16 percent of our revenue, which has exceeded the maximum limit of 15 per cent that has been practiced all this while.

“This payment of RM46 billion is solely for loan interest.”

Anwar said the people should be reminded that for the past 25 years, the government has been spending in deficit, hence the reason why the national debt continues to increase.

“We used to go into debt to develop Felda, but it should not be much of a worry.

“However, when we are in debt to finance mega projects that have no benefit (to the people), are we betraying the trust (given to us) if the younger generation is burdened with debt?” he said. –  NST