Malaysia seeks higher debt ceiling, more COVID-19 funds
Malaysia’s Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz shared on Tuesday that the cabinet proposed to increase government’s statutory debt ceiling to 65% of gross domestic product. The motion was an attempt to mitigate economic repercussions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zafrul also said that the new cabinet headed by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob plans to put in another 45 billion Malaysian ringgit ($10.8 billion) to assist businesses and households. The additional budget will raise pandemic funds to 110 billion ringgit.
The proposals will be discussed for approval by parliament in October.
The country increased its debt ceiling to 60% last year, a first time since July 2009.
Meanwhile, banks were also asked to consider waiving interest payments for low-income borrowers who put their loans on hold, Zafrul said.
New coronavirus lockdowns disrupted Malaysia’s recovery, causing the government to trim its growth outlook twice this year. The economy is currently expected to grow 3-4%, lower than the initial projection of a 6-7.5% expansion.