The government can do away with the goods and services tax (GST) as it gets more than RM20 billion in savings from the rationalisation of subsidies for cooking oil and sugar, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today.
He said the savings from the reduced subsidies offset the loss in revenue from national petroleum company, Petronas.
Lim said Petronas used to funnel “an average of RM30 to RM35 billion” in revenue to the government.
Lim said to save more, the government should practise open tenders for all projects and ensure a “clean government”.
“The Star reported 10 years ago that if the government implemented open tenders and a cleaner government, we could save RM27 billion yearly.
“Now, if we can only do that, we can remove GST altogether.
“We will also be able to give out BR1M this way,” Lim said in a press conference at Komtar today, referring to the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia aid given to low-income individuals and families.
Lim was commenting on Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani’s reply to his question in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Johari had said GST and subsidy cuts were in place to prevent a deficit in the government’s budget in the long run.
He was reported as saying the subsidy rationalisation plan had helped the country when revenue from crude oil dropped from RM66 billion in 2014 to RM30 billion last year.
Johari said GST brought in RM41 billion a year, although crude oil prices remained weak.
Source : Predeep Nambiar @ FMT Online