Saturday, March 13, 2010

GST bill delayed

The Najib Administration is to delay introducing legislation to bring in a Goods and Services Tax, that would have generated revenue totalling around RM8.8 billion, in order to first get public feedback.

It had been due to introduce the tax in 2011 to replace an existing sales tax as part of its measures to reduce Malaysia’s dependence on oil revenues that currently account for almost half of government revenues.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said government needed more time to gather feedback from the rakyat.

“It will not be tabled for second reading in the March/April session (of Parliament) because we need more time to engage with the public.

“We want the public’s opinion on GST,” Husni told reporters after opening the Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce (KLMCC)’s annual general meeting here today.

Malaysia’s budget deficit hit a more than 20 year high of 7.4 per cent of gross domestic product in 2009, according to government data.

The opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had vowed to oppose the tax, saying it will burden more Malaysians in a country that is coming out of recession.

PR had planned to gather at least 2,000 supporters outside Parliament on Monday when the Dewan Rakyat begins sitting.

Police have warned against any such protest.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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