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Govt will improve GST if it is reintroduced -- Tengku Zafrul

10/06/2022 06:26 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 (Bernama) -- The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be improved in terms of the efficiency of its reimbursement process, business compliance level as well as overall administration if the government decides to reintroduce the tax.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said improvements will also be made to prevent any confusion in the classification of taxable versus non-taxable goods and to enhance the skills of government officials.

“Any new taxation system also needs to be approved by Parliament and, if we take into consideration the requirement for public engagement as well as improvements to the existing system, it is doubtful that the GST could be implemented this year,” he said in the 98th Laporan Kewangan Rakyat (LKR) released today.

Tengku Zafrul noted that the national revenue collection as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) last year was relatively low at 15.1 per cent compared with other countries in the region such as Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Tax revenue, meanwhile, stood at 11.2 per cent of GDP.

Hence, he said, the government needs to make efforts to broaden its revenue base in order to distribute it in a more meaningful manner via development programmes that will benefit all of Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family).

“However, before the government introduces any new tax, it must ensure that the economic recovery post-COVID-19 crisis is on a stable and solid track,” he added.

On Budget 2023, Tengku Zafrul said it will, among others, focus on facilitating full employment and re-employment and social protection for those who are self-employed and working in the informal sector.

It will also give specific focus on the employment and re-employment of segments, including the unemployed graduates, women who left the labour force, persons with disabilities, and long-term unemployed.

The minister said focus will also be given on skills upgrading and reskilling programmes, raising productivity through economic activity digitalisation and ensuring the people receive fair wages, including through a minimum wage review.

“Interventions are also required to ensure basic food security in order to curb the surging prices of basic necessities, and to ensure government resources are spent on those who need them through targeted subsidies.

“In summary, Budget 2023 will continue to support economic growth and focus on reforms to improve the rakyat’s wellbeing, income and social protection as well as the competitiveness of Malaysian businesses and the move up the value chain. It will also strengthen the government’s fiscal position and the nation’s resilience to withstand future shocks,” he added.




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