SHAH ALAM – The Menteri Besar, Mohamed Azmin Ali, has a clear goal and is not merely populist, but accountable and prudent when presenting the Selangor Budget 2015 on November 24.
The PAS Research and Development Centre Director, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, said that although a deficit budget of RM450 million was presented, it was still better compared to the budget last year.
“Balancing the budget estimates amounting to RM2.422 billion, RM1.288 billion or 53.19 percent of allocation for operational expenditure and RM1.134 billion (46.81%) for development expenditure is a prudent approach to spur the economy and the prosperity of the people.
“clearly, it is better than the budget last year which used 66.2 percent from the budget estimate to manage and 33.8 percent for development,” said the former Member of Parliament for Kuala Selangor.
He said that the main claim is for the Menteri Besar to have a high fiscal discipline and the bureaucracy to collect tax revenues and non-tax revenues effectively without leakage with a deficit budget.
He said that Mohamed Azmin has strong determination to not present a supplementary budget unless unforeseen circumstances present itself, such as a catastrophe.
“This is opposite from the Federal Government with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, using almost 80 percent from the budget for the growing management expenditure.
“Almost all development provisions (20 percent) are deficit financed through loans,” he said.
Dzulkefly said that RM277.3 million allocated for the Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor (MES) programmes and RM106.6 million for community service, rural development, the municipal sector and entrepreneur development is evident of the state government’s concern for the welfare of the people as a whole.
He said that the budget strategy of’ ‘widening the middle class’ is interesting, strategic and important.
“According to the UNDP-Malaysia report which was just presented yesterday, the middle class in Malaysia is experiencing stagnation of around 20 percent of the people compared to developed countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore at around 50 to 55 percent.
“Selangor, as the richest and most developed state, should have an upper-middle class that is wider with the increase in investment and economic activity at a higher added value.
The low-income earners will enter the middle-low class with various migration programmes to increase their income,” he said.