KUALA LUMPUR – It is not yet the stage for GST’s reintroduction, said Datuk Mohd Shahar Abdullah, Deputy Finance Minister I.
According to the minister, the recent strong economic recovery momentum performance with a 6.9% growth for the first half of the year aided by the rising domestic and foreign demand and recovery of the labour market, were all factors that made the government feel it was unnecessary for GST’s reintroduction at present time.
“In this sense, the government is optimistic that the national economy would grow between 5.3% and 6.3% in 2022,” he said.
He made the remarks during a recent Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) engagement session with the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sarawak which was organised by the MoF to gather input and feedback from the business community as part of the preparation for Budget 2023. There, he was asked about the government’s plan for GST’s reintroduction.
During the event, he stated that in order to maintain the momentum of national economic growth, the focus of the upcoming budget will be on reform initiatives to improve the well-being of the populace, particularly by increasing income and social protection, business competitiveness and related value chains, and bolstering the country’s resilience to future shocks.
Furthermore, he said that the overall inflation level for the first half of 2022 was marked at 2.5%, a rate that is much lower compared to other countries. Additionally, he also said that inflation in Malaysia is under control because of the price control measures and subsidies that were implemented by the government.
Following the decision to sustain and enhance subsidies, he anticipated that aid and subsidy spending would climb to RM77.7 billion from RM31 billion allocated in Budget 2022.
He added that without the subsidies for the essential products, inflation would be estimated to reach 11.4%.
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