THE YOUTH AND 2018 BUDGET
Young people are social actors of change and progress. They are a crucial segment of a nation's development. In general, it is seen that all citizens have to be included in building or developing a nation. Thus, the involvement of youth in national development is a must because they play one of the most important roles in nation building. According to recent report on population in Malaysia, the working population nearly captured more than 60% of overall population. Youth literacy rates are 98.34% and 98.5% for males and females accordingly. The overall youth literacy rate is 98.42%. Youth literacy rate definition covers the population between the ages of 15 to 24 years.
Several initiatives by the government have been laid out in the proposed 2018 budget in accordance with the youth assessment. These are designed to aid people, especially the young generation of Malaysia in generating income. Few examples are:
1) eRezeki, eUsahawan dan eLadang programme (RM100m)
2) Easy loans for Food Truck 1Malaysia (FT1M) through Bank Rakyat with interest rate of 2% (RM120m)
3) 1AZAM Programme to increase revenue (RM60m)
4) Construction of new UTC, Blue Ocean Entrepreneur Township, Mobile CTC, Entrepreneurship programme, Global Entrepreneurship Community as well as inclusive and vibrant Social Entrepreneurs (RM300) as part of National Blue Ocean Shift (NBOS) initiative
5) Various Bumiputera entrepreneurship enhancement programmes (i.e., PUNB Entrepreneurship and Business Premise Programme (RM200m))
6) Promoting job opportunities in 5 main corridors including
I. Southern Perak
II. Bukit Kayu Hitam Duty Free Zone
III. Tok Bali Industrial Park, Kelantan
IV. Baleh Dam, Sarawak
These programs basically directed the young generation to take more part in the real sector of economy. The youth especially in today's generation has advantage of the being literate in utilization of technology and this is helpful to boost the economic excellence in innovation of new products that can compete with the rest of the world.
Government's initiative to help university graduates in paying back their PTPTN loans: In the budget, the government will provide discounts for PTPTN repayments until 31st December 2018. Among the discounts include: 1) 20 percent discount on outstanding loan to settle repayments 2) 10 percent discount for paying at least 50 percent of outstanding loan in a single payment
3) 10 percent for payments via salary cuts or direct debit. The government is also providing more convenience for PTPTN loaners, especially those from B40 income groups who took courses with high marketability, RM200 million will be added to increase their maximum loan.
Therefore, the grace period for graduates has also been extended to 12 months after graduation, compared to just six months previously. We know that youths who started working just after graduation, they will not have too high of a salary especially with the high cost of living these days. So, it is very much beneficial for youth in PTPTN repayments,
Moreover, for the students who wish to continue their studies after graduation, such as diploma graduates who wish to continue in degree studies, they can combine their loans from the previous and future studies, and they will only need to pay the loan after they have completed all their studies.
Youth Entrepreneurship initiatives: Youth Entrepreneurship initiatives offered by the government include RM100 million for the eRezeki, eUsahawan and eLadang under the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). All of these government Programmes, such as eRezeki, eUsahawan and eLadang, encourages youths to venture into entrepreneurship if they can't find a stable employment. These initiatives will kickstart businesses created by the youths." For example, the eRezeki programme provide training in using digital technology to develop businesses and also working part-time to gain additional income.
So, among the youths those are taking the risk to establish a business instead of being employed, as many are utilising the wide approach of social media to spread their business. However, before the youth start their first steps as an entrepreneur, they should at least attend a business course and have an effective supervision to guide them in their business so that they can be successful and not failing. So, youth would be able to get training through eRezeki programme to be a successful entrepreneur.