PUTRAJAYA, Jan 20 – The planned increase in electricity and gas tariffs will be postponed, Prime Minister Najib Razak said today. This is aimed at keeping costs low for the manufacturing industry, he said when announcing revisions to Budget 2015. The economic focus overall will be to increase consumption of local goods and increase exports so as to ensure the nation’s finances remain strong, Najib explained.
To this end, the government will source more products and services locally rather than obtain them from abroad, placing a minimum of 30% of this total to be sourced locally. Najib also said the investment focus of government-linked companies (GLCs) will now be more on local projects rather than venturing too much abroad. While many had feared some subsidies – like that for cooking oil and flour – would be reduced, Najib didn’t touch on these. No fuel tax was also announced, implying that pump prices could drift lower come Feb 1.