World Bank lead economist welcomes Budget 2020’s digital adoptions

R. Loheswar
People watch the Budget 2020 speech by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng ‘live’ at a restaurant in Medan Selera Medan Kidd in Ipoh October 11, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — The World Bank today welcomed Malaysia’s efforts at boosting jobs and private investments through digital adoption and the promotion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Richard Record, World Bank Lead Economist for Malaysia, said the plans in Budget 2020 tabled today focusing on connectivity and logistics as well as structural reforms to improve trade will likely yield positive returns in an uncertain trade environment.

“We also welcome the emphasis on addressing the power of monopolies and acknowledge the positive impact of measures already taken to increase competition in the broadband connectivity space and welcome increased competition in the energy sector.

“Budget 2020 includes several important measures to boost Malaysia’s human capital and improve inclusivity, including steps towards closing the gender gap in Malaysia’s labour market.

‘We are encouraged to see momentum towards improving the legal protection of parents, including as part of the planned reforms if the Employment Act and other labour laws,” he said in a statement.

He also welcomed reforms to fuel subsidy framework and lauded efforts to increase progressivity in the personal income tax framework by introducing a new top rate (at 30 per cent).

“The extension of the SST to cover imported digital services is also a helpful step forward,” he added.

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