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24 October2009

Malaysia cuts 2010 budget by 11%

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak presented a 2010 budget on Friday that slashed 11 percent from this year's record expenditure, as he sought to rein in the ballooning fiscal deficit by targeting food and fuel subsidies, reported Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper.

In his debut budget, he said it was time to reprioritise government programmes. His focus, he said, is to build a foundation for a new economic model that creates high-income jobs. The goal: to double per capita income in the next 10 years from the current 24,055 ringgit (1$=3.5 ringgit).

“We are now at a critical juncture, either to remain trapped in a middle-income group or advance to a high-income economy,” said Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, as he tabled the budget in parliament.

The main savings will come from the government's operating expenditure, which will be trimmed sharply by 13.7 percent. The move was seen as a bold measure, as it included a hefty slashing of food and fuel subsidies.


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