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Finance Ministry: Various measures in place to curb household debt growth

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The government has introduced various measures in stages since 2010 to curb the rise in the ratio of household debt to the gross domestic product (GDP), said the Finance Ministry today.

In a written reply at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today, the ministry said 80 percent of the household debt was from the banking industry while the remaining 20 percent was from non-banking financial institutions.

It said for the period of five years from 2012-2016, the household debt ratio had fluctuated, whereby in 2012 it was 80.5 percent, 2013 (86.2 percent), 2014 (86.8 percent), 2015 (89.1 percent), and 2016 (84.4 percent).

"More than half of the household debt were for buying properties and vehicles, while personal loans amounted to 15 per cent and credit card around 3.5 per cent," said the ministry.

The written answer was in reply to a question from Hasan Arifin (BN-Rompin) who asked the finance minister to state the ratio of household debt to GDP for five years and measures taken by the government to reduce the borrowing habits for non-essential purposes.

"Among the measures taken is to provide affordable housing such as 1Malaysia People's Housing programme which is viewed as helping to reduce the burden of these borrowers as the price offered is reasonable.

"The financial institutions also have guidelines issued by Bank Negara to approve loans only to those eligible to curb the level of household indebtedness," it said.

Besides that, awareness on financial management through Money Management Programme was also introduced to remind the public especially those who had just entered the job market not to spend beyond their ability.

"We also have the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency to help settle and put their financial management in order, and to-date, the agency has successfully helped more than 160,000 people with loan problems," it said.

- Bernama

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