KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is adopting the expansionary policy because it will lead to economic growth, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Stressing that the Government was not “in denial”, the Finance Minister said what was being done was to ensure that the economy do not slow down.
“The domestic economic growth must be supported, especially by domestic demand spending.
“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures,” he said when winding up the Budget 2009 debate at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Reiterating that the country’s economic fundamentals were strong, Najib, who is Deputy Prime Minister, said the Government recognised that it could no longer rely on export-led recovery method as adopted during the Asian financial crisis a decade ago.
“When the global economy is in recession, the correct step is to inject extra funds so that the economy does not slow down but will instead continue to grow,”Â he added.
Later, at a press conference at Parliament lobby, Najib said the ad- ditional economic measures announced was “not a new budget” as the development and the operating expenditures remained the same.
“The only thing is that there is (money for) transfers because of the savings in the allocations due to the decrease in fuel prices.
“Fuel subsidy which was at RM21bil has gone down to RM11bil. These are savings which we can inject into the economy,” he added.
Pakatan Rakyat MPs had in the House accused the Government of coming up with a new Budget.
Najib said that there were RM7bil savings from the fuel subsidy which was based on the global oil price of US$70 (RM206) per barrel.
Earlier in Parliament, Najib announced that the RM7bil savings would be used for development projects.
On what would happen if oil prices shot up, he said the deficits could be adjusted but the Government would ensure that the deficit did not go beyond 4.8% and if necessary, it would postpone some projects.
On the walkout by the Opposition, Najib said it was an irresponsible act because his presentation in Parlia- ment was on the additional economic measures that the Govern- ment would be taking for next year and were important for the future of the country and the people.
“They, as a responsible Opposition, should attend the presentation. I have already promised that I would give them time to pose questions and I would explain.
“I did not deny them (the right to question). I only exercised my right to decide when I would allow them to ask,”Â he said.
“This is something the rakyat must realise, they have neglected their responsibility as a constructive Opposition. It seems like they are confused between the new Budget and the additional measures,”Â he said.
On the Eurocopter issue, he said that what the Government had said had been proven right because the Public Accounts Committee had said that there was no abuse in the procedure.
Najib also said that he was right in saying in Parliament that the Oppo- sition’s Alternative budget was contractionary.
“I have the figures. Their operating budget is RM130.345bil, while the operating budget suggested by Barisan Nasional was RM154.170bil so there is a RM24bil difference.
“I have the figures here, so how can the Opposition leader say I am lying?”Â
Source : The Star