PUTRAJAYA — January 8, 2016: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduced in April last year is, at the macro level, the saviour of the national economic and financial position.
Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak pointed out today that the GST had grossed RM37.67
billion in proceeds and the projected net proceeds as at last December was RM27.126 billion.
The GST net proceeds for this year was estimated to rise to RM39 billion, he said at the special assembly of the finance ministry here.
“The GST, at the macro level, has propped up the government revenue facing ashortfall in petroleum tax earnings. So, it is not wrong if I were to say that the GST is the saviour of the national financial and economic position as a
Najib said the world oil price was expected to remain low this year, denting the government revenue by more than RM30 billion.
If the oil price remains at US$32.35 or US$36 a barrel, the contraction in revenue would be more than RM30 billion. Every US$1 drop in the price will translate into a contraction of RM300 million.
“This is the situation that we are up against and, if there is no GST, the national deficit will rise to 4.8 per cent this year, not 3.1,” said Najib.
Najib added that to ensure that people were not overburdened by the rising cost of living, the government would retain the BR1M programme that benefits 4.7 million households and 2.7 million unmarried individuals with an allocation of RM5.9 billion.
He advised the staff of the ministry to explain to the people the hidden or indirect subsidies provided by the government in the implementation of development projects and educational and health facilities.
Citing an example, he said a government hospital only charges RM1 at its outpatient clinic, RM5 for specialist consultation and RM500 for a bypass
“Many people are unaware of this and have taken it for granted all this while.”
Najib also said that under the National Blue Ocean Strategy, eight more urban transformation centres would be made available this year, including in Labuan, Sungai Petani , Miri and Sibu and Kelantan. — Bernama