The government will not cut operating expenditure in terms of government emoluments following declining revenue, but will instead focus on improving public service productivity, said Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani.
He said improving productivity would help mitigate growing government emoluments such as salaries and bonuses as well as pension.
“We need to make sure that we increase the productivity of every government servant and, hopefully, in the long-term, as the economy grows, we don’t grow with the number of staff,” he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia roundtable session here today.
However, Johari said the government would cut overlapping expenditure.
“We find a number of ministries are doing the same thing, for example, entrepreneur driven (programmes), and research and development.
“We need to consolidate this and look at it effectively so that every ringgit that we spend will benefit the people,” he said.
In terms of development expenditure, he said the government would focus on urgent and people-centric projects such as schools and hospitals in rural areas.
“These are the key areas we need to give proper allocation for in the 2017 Budget,” said Johari.
He said the government would proceed with mega projects that provided long-term benefits for the people such as the mass rapid transit, light rail transit, Malaysia-Singapore High-Speed Rail and the Pan-Borneo Highway.
“Hopefully, these projects that we have put in place will stimulate the economy and have a multiplying effect on the small and medium industries,” Johari added.
Themed, “The Malaysia Economy Today-The Challenges, Vulnerability and Resilience; and the Remedial Measures”, the one-day roundtable served as a platform for discussions and debate among stakeholders on issues and developments of utmost importance to the Malaysian economy.