Show fis­cal pru­dence in Bud­get 2017: Nazir

> Govt must main­tain debt ceil­ing of 55% of GDP, know where to cut and where to spend

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPEAK UP - BY LEE WENG KHUEN

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Group Hold­ings Bhd chair­man Datuk Seri Nazir Ab­dul Razak said the gov­ern­ment needs to demon­strate fis­cal pru­dence in the up­com­ing Bud­get 2017, which some quar­ters claim will be an elec­tion bud­get.

“The im­por­tant thing is to main­tain the self-im­posed debt ceil­ing of 55% of GDP (gross do­mes­tic prod­uct), this is what the mar­ket is look­ing at in the cur­rent en­vi­ron­ment,” he told re­porters on the side­lines of the Khaz­anah Me­ga­trends Fo­rum 2016 yes­ter­day.

Nazir said while the gov­ern­ment can “spend more”, it can also “save more” in the bud­get.

“I en­cour­age the gov­ern­ment to look at more rig­or­ous spend­ing man­age­ment. They must know where to cut and where to spend. For some less im­por­tant spend­ing and op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture, there should be se­ri­ous cuts. This is how the gov­ern­ment can meet its tar­get,” he added.

Mean­while, Khaz­anah Na­sional Bhd man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Tan Sri Az­man Mokhtar is of the view that Bud­get 2017 needs to be pro-growth and pro-so­ci­ety with fis­cally re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“Hope­fully, it will be a good bud­get. We know the global con­di­tions are quite chal­leng­ing. But for Malaysia, we have many strengths and ge­og­ra­phy is one of that. We look for­ward to play­ing our part,” he said.

Az­man said com­pa­nies un­der Khaz­anah will con­tinue to par­tic­i­pate in the coun­try’s economic growth story. “We need to keep the growth en­gine go­ing. With­out growth, it’s very dif­fi­cult to do the next things.”

On a sep­a­rate note, Nazir ex­pects an­other cut in the Overnight Pol­icy Rate at the next meet­ing of Bank Ne­gara Malaysia’s mon­e­tary pol­icy com­mit­tee, which is sched­uled to be held on Nov 23.

“Our ex­pec­ta­tion is a pos­si­bil­ity of an­other rate cut, but this cut should not be done just on na­tional dy­nam­ics but on in­ter­na­tional dy­nam­ics be­cause it can im­pact other things,” he said.

The two-day fo­rum themed “Ge­og­ra­phy as Des­tiny” has drawn more than 1,000 lo­cal and for­eign par­tic­i­pants.

SEE

Az­man speak­ing at the Khaz­anah Me­ga­trends Fo­rum 2016 yes­ter­day.

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