Key takeaways

  • Budget 2024 reflects a negative fiscal impulse, with a lower allocation compared with the projected expenditure for 2023.
  • MSMEs to benefit from RM44 billion allocated for loans, credit guarantees and digitalisation grants, with a focus on green sectors. However, the newly proposed capital gains tax on unlisted shares might impact MSME and start-up funding in the short term.
  • Education receives a substantial amount of funding to promote inclusivity and tackle learning gaps, especially among disadvantaged pupils. While STEM and TVET are emphasised, there are ongoing challenges in competency, governance and perceptions.
  • Numerous initiatives aim to address environmental risks, biodiversity, the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem and decarbonisation for sustainable growth. Need for transparency in funds disbursement and a greater focus on nature-based solutions, alternative financing and adequate EV infrastructure.
  • Increased focus on social protection for homemakers, along with higher investment in elderly care will benefit women and families, but overall Budget 2024 could be more gender responsive.

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Unpacking Budget 2024: navigating fiscal realities and policy priorities

by Ahmad Afandi, Calvin Cheng, Dhana Raj, Lee Min Hui, Qarrem Kassim, and Sofea Azahar, 19 October 2023.

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