KUALA LUMPUR — Aug. 6, 2020: A bill to cover the temporary spending and financing by the government to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and raise the debt ceiling was tabled in Parliament today.
The proposal targets to raise the statutory accumulated debt limit from the present 55 per cent to 60 per cent of the gross domestic product.
Under the Temporary Measures for Government Financing [Coronavirus Disease 2019 Bill which was tabled by Deputy Finance Minister Mohd. Shahar Abdullah, the higher debt ceiling will be effective from the date it is gazetted to December 31, 2022.
Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz had on July 16 stated that the country’s accumulated debt to GDP at the end of June was 53.2 per cent.
He had earlier warned that the level could hit the statutory limit of 55 per cent at the end of the year due to the pandemic.
The bill will also establish the Covid-19 Fund, under which money will be used to support the government’s economic stimulus packages and recovery plans.