IPOH: BARISAN Nasional’s Aku Janji (pledge), made during the just-concluded 13th General election, will be incorporated in the drafting of the 2014 Budget.

Top of the list will be the gradual increase of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) from next year.

Giving his assurance that the national budget will be a budget for the people, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanazlah urged them to come forward to provide their feedback in the drafting of the budget.

He said the government’s ultimate aim was to ensure the people enjoyed greater prosperity, while the country moved forward towards a high-income nation by 2020.

“It (the drafting) of the budget will include the Aku Janji we made in the last elections, especially the increase in the BR1M payout.

“We want the people to be part of this budget. We want this budget to be a budget of the rakyat,” he told reporters after a breakfast meeting with residents of Kampung Tengku Hussein here yesterday.

Ahmad Husni said several discussions were being held at the ministry-level to kick-start consultation for 2014 Budget, which is expected to be tabled in Parliament in October.

“We are laying a firm foundation to the budget. We are looking into it a more long-term context. This means that we have a much higher aim. We want to become a developed nation by 2020, and we must lay a strong foundation in next year’s budget.”

He said the government welcomed feedback from all groups, whether professional, academicians or even non-government organisations, representing both the business sector and the people.

He noted that unlike last year when the ministry’s representatives sought views state by state, this year’s approach would be somewhat different.

“Anybody, who wants to give their views, just inform us. There are two ways to it. One, we have a focus group discussion of between 15 and 16 groups, and the other is through memorandums, letters, e-mails and such.

“So, this is going to be an open budget.”

Meanwhile, Ahmad Husni said the country was confident of achieving the targeted four per cent deficit this year, 3.5 per cent next year and three per cent in 2015.

“We will then move towards a balanced budget before heading for a surplus budget,” he added.

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