Putrajaya has allocated a total of RM322.5 billion for 2021, registering an additional RM7.8 billion more than the 2020 Budget.
The Covid-19 fund ceiling is to be raised to RM65 billion. Additionally, RM150 million in grants has been allocated for the digitalisation and automisation of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
RHB Banking Group has welcomed the government’s targeted action plans to continue supporting and ensuring sustenance of the worst hit segments especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“It is indeed encouraging to see much support provided to vulnerable groups, especially the B40 segment, through the continuation of fiscal stimulus packages including the enhancement to Payment Assistance for loan and financing. This much needed social aid would ease hardship faced by the Rakyat, as well as support the rebuilding and strengthening of Malaysia’s social and economic threadwork,” said Khairussaleh Ramli, Group Managing Director, RHB Banking Group.
“At the current juncture, the three risks that we are closely monitoring are the timing of a commercial adaptation of an effective Covid-19 virus vaccine, the path of global economic growth, and volatility in global financial market conditions,” he added.
Telco player, Celcom Axiata Berhad applauded Putrajaya’s decision on the implementation of the Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) initiative that focuses on the expansion of broadband services, ensuring connectivity provision for Malaysian schools throughout the nation as announced during the Budget 2021.
“We also welcome the B40 initiative under the Jaringan Prihatin Program and have been in discussions with the Ministry of Finance on an industry coordinated response to support this effort. We will continue to collaborate and work closely with all relevant parties in finalising a range of products and services, which will benefit our B40 customers,” said Idham Nawawi, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad.
E-commerce startup, Oxwhite has also praised the Budget, labelling it as a comprehensive plan as it will help drive Malaysians further in the adoption of e-commerce through connectivity enhancement such as Prihatin Connectivity Plan and JENDELA.
“Additionally, the budget also helps home grown brands such as Oxwhite cushion the impact of the global pandemic by incentivising Malaysians to support local brands online through the RM150 million allocation for Shop Malaysia Online campaign.
On top of that, the RM35 million ringgit allocated for the promotion of local products and services would be beneficial for the local e-commerce players to remain competitive as retail patterns shift online,” said Oxwhite founder, CK Chang.
Azrin Abd Shukor, NetApp Country Manager of Malaysia & Brunei commented that the government’s provisions to enable greater access to internet connectivity through the Jaringan PRIHATIN Programme for B40, JENDELA programme for schools and business across the country as well as the expansion of broadband services by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) are extremely important in jumpstarting the shift.
“It will democratise technology across all levels of society and will subsequently empower people and businesses to learn, innovate and thrive,” he said.
“Beyond that, we also laud the government’s move in creating the High Technology Fund that will attract and retain global technology players in the country, subsequently helping Malaysia elevate the knowledge, skills and experience of its talents, making them global and future-ready,” he added.