The Prime Minister would table the 2014 Budget aimed at reducing deficit and strengthening public finances among others.
Najib also announced the setting up of a Fiscal Policy Committee aimed at reducing fiscal deficit, strengthening public finances and ensuring nation’s long-term fiscal sustainability.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said he would chair the committee which would include selected Cabinet ministers and heads of departments.
“This committee will be served by a fiscal policy office at the Treasury. This is to underline the seriousness in terms of managing our fiscal position and reducing our fiscal deficit,” he said in his opening speech at the 2014 Budget Consultation sessions.
The government is on track in reducing the fiscal deficit further, from 4.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year to four percent this year.
“Our aim is to meet the medium-term fiscal target of around 3% of GDP by 2015 without jeopardising the growth momentum of the domestic economy and on-going fiscal support for transformation initiatives.
“This will be achieved through a judicious mix of prudent but productive spending, and strengthening revenue enhancement measures that include better tax returns and enforcement by the Inland Revenue Board,” he said.
Also present at the consultation were Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan, Chief Secretary to the Government Dr Ali Hamsa and Treasury Secretary-General Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.
On the consultations, Najib said 96 memorandums were submitted covering a wide spectrum of macro, sectoral and social issues to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) for consideration.
“I believe that among the 96 memorandums, part of it which we feel are in line with the government’s objectives would be considered,” he said.
“It focuses on two elements — invigorating the economy and ensuring the well-being of the people in an inclusive manner,” he said.
Najib said the theme for this year’s consultation is “Fulfilling Promises, Accelerating Transformation.”
“This year’s budget is of great significiance to the government that has been given a new mandate to fulfill the aspirations of the rakyat,” he said.