Budget focus group to discuss developing a ‘happiness index’


The 2014 budget focus group, which will meet in July, will, among others, discuss developing a "Malaysian happiness index", says Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

He said the meeting, which would be chaired by him, would discuss the role of the public and private sectors in creating prosperity for the people.

"Now, we see all government policies in the context of generating economic growth only but how do we link it to the peoples' prosperity?" he asked.

"As an example, there are rich countries but the wealth is only in the hands of a few. In this context, we can learn from what is happening in other countries. There should be a balance in this country between the rich and the low-income,"he told reporters after a thanksgiving function here today.

Ahmad Husni, who is also Tambun Member of Parliament, said 15 focus groups, comprising representatives from both the public and private sectors, would focus on how to accelerate growth based on investment and productivity, fiscal measures, enhance and retain the participation of women workforce and increase the contribution of small-and-medium enterprises to the economy.

"Diversifying exports further will be another topic that will be given upmost attention especially in the context of economic development, the country's economic growth is linked closely to export growth which is now declining," he said.

A total of 96 memorandums have been submitted to the Ministry of Finance for consideration covering a wide spectrum of macro, sectoral and social issues.

Ahmad Husni said he would chair four focus groups while his deputy will chair the remaining groups.

The 2014 budget will be tabled in Parliament on Oct 25.


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