2021 Budget should ensure job sustainability, says MPRC

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 -- Budget 2021 should ensure job sustainability amid a weaker economic environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corp (MPRC) deputy chief executive officer Mohd Yazid Ja'afar said the focus of the budget would be very much directed towards the wellbeing of the rakyat.

The government’s coffer is being stretched, especially to finance stimulus packages like PENJANA, he said, adding that, “We know this is going to be strange times," he told Bernama in an interview recently.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz will deliver his maiden 2021 Budget tomorrow. 

Mohd Yazid called upon the government to continue the wage subsidy programme to allow companies to retain their employees.

"The government could also introduce incentives to bolster the profitability of the companies to retain employment such as tax exemption. This will help retain employees, especially those involved in the oil and gas industry," he added.

The government has introduced the Wage Subsidy Programme in April this year under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) which ended on Sept 30. 

From Oct 1 until Dec 31 this year, the government has introduced a Targeted Wage Subsidy Programme to assist employers who are still affected economically by the pandemic. 

"For 2021, I am hopeful that the government could support some of our initiatives on two areas, namely innovation and incentives, to go digital (in the oil and gas services and equipment industry)," said Mohd Yazid.

Formed in 2011, MPRC is an agency under the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister's Department.

The agency provides recommendations to the government to promote the globalisation of local oil and gas services and equipment capabilities in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. 

-- BERNAMA