KUALA LUMPUR: The additional 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) cash payout will not affect the government’s ambition to achieve a fiscal deficit of 2.8 per cent in 2018.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said the additional BR1M payout was derived from the hike in oil prices, which improved to US$67 per barrel compared with US$52 per barrel when Budget 2018 was tabled last October.
“We decided to give the BR1M because we have extra income due to the current oil price, which is more than what we budgeted for in October.Hence, we will return it to the people, namely BR1M recipients and those in the income group of between RM4,000 and RM5,000,” he said after attending the Projek Baiti Jannati Thanksgiving Ceremony organised by Tenaga Nasional Bhd here today.
Baiti Jannati project is TNB’s corporate social responsibility programme that aims to improve the living conditions of the lower income group and the disadvantaged.
CIMB Investment Bank had earlier said the additional BR1M payout would cost RM3.71 billion or 0.25 per cent of Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for this year.
Meanwhile, commenting on the World Bank’s revised projection of the Malaysian economy’s growth to 5.4 per cent for 2018, Johari said this proved that the country had solid economic fundamentals, with the ringgit also strengthening.
“However, Malaysia’s economic growth is still subject to external factors. So far, i don’t see any impact from it (trade war between the United States and China). But, whether we like it or not, Malaysia is a small country and still subject to it. We will try to find strategies to counter this,” he added. — Bernama