PUTRAJAYA: The government does not need a supplementary budget for now as the country's fiscal deficit is under control, according to Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ir Amiruddin Hamzah.
He said a well managed and sustainable fiscal deficit would strengthen Malaysia's economy and the country will not need to borrow again.
"We would not need a supplementary as the government is controlling the fiscal deficit in terms of expenditure and income. Even if there are changes, controlling the fiscal deficit is our priority in growing the national economy," he said after handing over RM34 million in financing under the MyCreative Ventures financing scheme to 19 creative companies, here today.
On Aug 12, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government was considering tabling a supplementary budget.
Earlier, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that Malaysia's projected fiscal deficit would rise to RM40.1 billion in 2018 from RM39.8 billion, which would maintain the federal government budget deficit at 2.8% of GDP.
Amiruddin in his opening speech urged companies in the creative industry to play a role in formulating a product commercialisation plan by combining the creative arts with the tourism sector.
"This initiative has the potential to contribute to the nation's economy as the tourism sector, which is based on the arts and culture, could generate a lucrative revenue, for example, a country like France earns about RM934 billion a year from their tourism sector," he said.
Meanwhile, MyCreative CEO Riza Saian said Malaysia's creative industry contributes just 2% to GDP compared to over 5% in Indonesia, Singapore and Korea.
"Many creative enterprises in Malaysia are at an early stage and need more time to earn substantial profits. Malaysia has a wealth of creative talents, but their business skills on the whole need to be enhanced," he said.
Riza noted that RM200 million had been invested in 138 creative companies under 10 categories – visual arts, traditional arts, music, fashion, design, creative studies, culinary arts, creative content, literature and performance arts.