The much anticipated Budget 2013 was announced by by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak at Parliament mere moments ago, and VenusBuzz.com has got the low-down on how the announcement will affect Malaysian women and what we can look forward to in the upcoming year.
Under the fifth focus of the Najib’s budget which looks at the well-being of the Rakyat, he states that the development of women, family and community will see an allocation of RM50 million to support the dual roles played by women who contribute towards the economic development.
1. A total of 500 women will be trained as board members under the Women Directors’ Programme
2. The Single Mothers Skills Incubator Programme (I-KIT) will be improved to provide advisory services and training for single mothers in entrepreneurship
3. Get Malaysian Business Online Programme (GMBO) to assist 50,000 small entrepreneurs, particularly women to promote their businesses by increasing their sales online with a grant of RM1,000. SKMM will provide an allocation of RM50 million for this purpose
4. Allocation of RM25,000 for free mammogram examination for women, which is estimated to benefit 100,000 women aged 40 and above
We’re glad to see that crime prevention and safety was given a significant chunk of the budget with an allocation of RM591 million in 2013 to implement the following measures:
1. Increasing the number of Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) personnel for patrolling and combating crime, upgrading infrastructure and providing modern equipment
2. Establishing a Motorcycle Patrolling Unit to monitor housing areas with the Government allocating RM20 million to provide 1,000 motorcycles
3. Increasing the number of Police Volunteer Reserve (PVR) by an additional 10,000 officers involving an allocation of RM70 million to assist the police in combating crime
4. Installing an additional 496 units of Closed Circuit Television or CCTV cameras in 25 local authorities in Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak to prevent street crimes in urban areas.
5. A grant of RM40 million will be launched for 4,025 resident associations registered under the Registry of Societies Malaysia, with each association receiving RM10,000 to support the role of resident associations in promoting patrolling activities in neighbourhoods
6. Enhancing the role of neighbourhood watch (rukun tetangga) to assist in safeguarding the neighbourhood. For this, the Government targets 6,500 neighbourhood watch locations (kawasan rukun tetangga – KRT) by 2013 and will allocate RM39 million to finance KRT activities
7. Providing uniforms to 300,000 active members of People’s Volunteer Corp (RELA) with an allocation of RM90 million
8. Total deduction on the expenses on the installation of security control equipment in the same year the equipment is purchased as compared to the current deduction of 8 years under the Accelerated Capital Allowance. The Government has agreed to extend this incentive to housing developers.
FAMILY & PARENTING
1. Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M 2.0) will be applicable in families where the head of the household earns less than RM3,000 will be eligible for assistance, which will also be extended to single unmarried individuals aged 21 and above and earning not more than RM2,000 a month. This assistance amounts to RM250 and is effective January 2013.
2. To ease financial burden of parents, the Government proposes that the existing tax relief on the children’s higher education amounting to RM4,000 per person be increased to RM6,000, commencing from year of assessment 2013.