Budget 2013 will Highlight Affordable Housing

Affordable housing will be one of the highlights in Budget 2013, said Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai.

The Deputy Finance Minister said among the initiatives being looked into was the enhancement of low-cost home development projects, particularly the My First Home Scheme.

Lim said the Government had proposed to increase the limit of house prices under the scheme from RM220,000 to RM400,000 to fulfill the needs of those earning below RM3,000.

“Over 70% of Malaysians live and work in urban areas and easing their financial constraints will be highlighted in the upcoming Budget,” he said.

In July, the ministry concluded discussions via 18 focus group meetings exploring areas like affordable housing, urban transformation plan, small and medium enterprises and green technology.

More than 84 memoranda and proposals from various groups, NGOs and individuals were handed to the ministry for the Budget.

Topping the wish list were affordable housing, lower taxes, cheaper food and better public transportation.

Budget 2013 will be tabled in Parliament on Sept 28.

Lim said Malaysians should not rule out the possibility of a second round of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) programme.

“We respect Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s wishes for a second BR1M and are looking at our financial standing before making a decision,” Lim said after launching myTRADELINK, a new trade facilitation portal.

The portal, an initiative by the Finance Ministry and operated by Dagang Net Technologies Sdn Bhd, acts as a platform where businessmen can exchange documents required to fulfil regulatory trade processes for import, export or transit via the Internet. – The Star

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