FINANCE MINISTRY FIGURES: Economy still growing at steady pace
THE increase in RON95 and diesel prices has minimal impact on inflation and the consumers, Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah says.
He said calculations done by the Finance Ministry showed a "very minimal movement" of 0.2 per cent in the inflation rate to an estimated 1.9 per cent.
"We are far from falling into a recession. Our economy is still growing at a steady pace. We still see people thronging shopping malls and other places amid the current economic environment."
Mohd Irwan was speaking at a briefing on the Fifth Global Social Business Summit (GSBS) by The Grameen Creative Lab, Yunus Centre and Youth Trust Foundation here yesterday.
He described the government's decision to reduce the fuel subsidy as wise as the money could be channelled to the needy.
He said the government, through the Ministry of Consumerism, Domestic Trade and Cooperative, constantly monitors prices of goods to ensure that they do not burden the consumers.
"I believe the impact of the fuel price hike is temporary and the public will be able to adapt to the environment," he said.
On the Bumiputera economic empowerment policy announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently, Mohd Irwan said Bumiputeras, who make up over 67 per cent of the population, are still lacking in terms of land ownership and equities.
"We need to come up with a programme and draw up strategies through initiatives that have been announced to increase land and equity holdings among Bumiputeras."
On the household debt, which has reached 80 per cent of the gross domestic product and is among the highest in Southeast Asia, he said Bank Negara Malaysia has taken measures to address the issue.
Meanwhile, the GSBS, the global leading forum for social business, will be held from November 7 to 9. The summit, which will gather experts from the private sector, civil society, governments and academia, is expected to draw some 700 participants.