BN Would Sell National Assets to Achieve Deficit Target

PETALING JAYA, 20 Dec: The World Bank revealed that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, will resort to selling national assets and issue more debt securities to achieve the country’s 2013 budget deficit target of 4%.

The matter was reported through the World Bank’s latest report “Malaysia Economic Monitor: December 2013”.

4.1

The Member of Parliament for Pandan, Rafizi Ramli, claimed that this “desperate move” was done to compensate for the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s leakages and wastages the past year.

“Of the additional RM11.8 billion in revenues expected to be raised compared to budget estimates, RM7.4 billion originated from non-tax sources, including RM1.4 billion ofproceeds from asset sales and RM4.2 billion from the securitization of government mortgages.”

“I suspect that the sale of these assets has already happened because it’s purpose was to reach the target of a 4 percent deficit by 2014 – a target which the government has failed to achieve.

“This means the country’s assets have been sold off and mortgaged so that the proceeds gained from it in 2013 can reduce the gap between the country’s revenue and expenditure,” he said at a news conference at the headquarters of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Rafizi said that he is not sure of the form of assets sold or mortgaged, and it may involve assets such as land and buildings.

4.2

Rafizi reiterated that PKR had always stressed the only way to reduce the budget deficit was to end corruption and wastages, through a thorough reformation of the economy, instead of raising prices and sell off assets, thus achieving a lower deficit of 3.5 percent, as mentioned in the Pakatan Rakyat Budget.

Rafizi said he would push for an emergency Parliament sitting to discuss Najib’s administration shortcomings which have resulted in a sharp increase in prices, in addition to the move to sell and mortgage the country’s assets.

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