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Najib: Progressive measures important

By Tuesday January 27th, 2009 No Comments

PEKAN: The government will progressively introduce monetary and fiscal measures to match the effects of the global economic crisis.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said government felt it was, therefore, necessary to introduce a second stimulus package after the first one announced in November.

“It is better for us to do it progressively.

“We do not know the size of the global problem,” he said yesterday after handing over bags and school uniforms to 2,000 schoolchildren in his constituency here yesterday courtesy of Amanah Raya.

On fiscal and monetary measures introduced on Friday, Najib, who is also finance minister, said the measures introduced were significant.

He added that the major announcements involved the interest rate cut by Bank Negara as well as the reduction in statutory reserves.

On Friday, Bank Negara reduced the overnight policy rate by 75 basis points to 2.50 per cent with immediate effect.

The central bank also cut the statutory reserve requirement for banks to two per cent from 3.5 per cent.

Najib said in addition to this, the setting up of the RM2 billion small- and medium-scale enterprise fund were in effect a guarantee scheme which allowed SMEs to obtain loans without collateral.

“The fiscal and monetary measures were significant but there was not much publicity given to them.”

He said this was a significant development because if the banking sector continued to lend, then there will be more economic activity and fewer workers will be laid off.

Najib said he was seeking public opinion on fiscal measures that needed to be undertaken to face the economic crisis.

“I have launched my website to seek opinions from the public.

“They can contribute views. We can try to get as much feedback as possible from other sectors on the economy.”

Source : The New Straits Times

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