#Budget2018: Budget 2018 Highlights
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 (Bernama) -- Following are the highlights of Budget 2018 tabled in Parliament today by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The budget carries the theme 'Prospering an Inclusive Economy, Balancing between Worldly and Hereafter, for the Wellbeing of Rakyat, towards the TN50 Aspiration' The budget theme is based on eight main thrusts, namely
1. Invigorating Investment, Trade and Industries
2. Towards TN50 Aspiration
3. Empowering Education, Skills and Training, and Talent Development
4. Driving Inclusive Development
5. Prioritising the Wellbeing of Rakyat and Provide Opportunities to Generate Income
6. Fortifying the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Digital Economy
7. Enhancing Efficiency and Delivery of GLC Companies and Public Service
8. Balancing Between The Par Excellence of Worldly and Hereafter
*Budget 2018 provides an allocation of RM280.25 billion compared to RM260.8 billion in Budget 2017.
*RM234.25 billion is allocated for Operating Expenditure and RM46 billion for Development Expenditure.
*The federal government revenue collection is expected to record RM239.86 billion.
*The government is allocating an additional RM200 million for Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, bringing the total fund size to RM2.7 billion to benefit nearly 400,000 borrowers.
*RM6.5 billion is provided to assist farmers, fishermen, smallholders and rubber tappers to implement various programmes, including RM2.3 billion to provide assistance and incentives such as fertilisers and input to padi farmers, rubber smallholders and fishermen.
*2020 is declared as Visit Malaysia Year. Malaysia will host a series of international meetings in 2020, namely APEC, WCIT and CHOGM.
*RM2 billion is allocated to the SME Tourism Fund to provide soft loans to tour operators with an interest subsidy of 2 per cent.
*An additional RM1 billion is allocated to the Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund as soft loans.
*RM30 million is allocated to Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) to implement initiatives, among them to promote Malaysia as the Asian Hub for Fertility Treatment, IVF and Cardiology; to introduce the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme.
*The construction of the East Coast Rail Link project connecting Port Klang to Pengkalan Kubor, Kelantan, to begin in January 2018. *The construction of the MRT3 or Circle Line to be completed by 2025, earlier than the initial target in 2027.
*Pulau Pangkor in Perak to be declared as a duty-free island but the status excludes products such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco and motor vehicles.
*A special Border Economic Zone is to be developed in Bukit Kayu Hitam to stimulate economic growth in the northern area.
*RM1 billion is allocated to the Public Transportation Fund for working capital and procurement of assets such as buses and taxis.
*RM45 million is allocated to develop a biometric control system to monitor bus drivers following several express bus accidents.
*Penang and Langkawi international airports are to be upgraded.
*The construction of a new airport in Mukah as well as expansion of the Kota Bharu and Sandakan airports.