Posted on 25 October 2013 - 10:50pm
PETALING JAYA (Oct 25, 2013): The Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) gave Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak an "A-" for his Budget 2014 tabled in Parliament today.
"The prime minister is to be commended for taking this bold decision (to announce the goods and services tax (GST) of 6% from April 2015) despite numerous voices in opposition. By complementing the GST announcement with personal and corporate tax adjustments, a necessary balance is achieved that avoids any undue penalty being imposed on any sector of society and will help sustain adequate levels of consumption," said MICCI in a statement today.
"The provision of zero rating or exemption for various categories of goods and services under the GST will further help mitigate any adverse effects but introduces an additional level of complexity into the system.
"Thus the time available until GST introduction in April 2015 along with the incentives for GST awareness and training will have to be fully utilised in order to get companies to a proper level of readiness," said MICCI.
Nevertheless, it recommends that the authorities tread lightly during the initial period of GST introduction since there will be "inevitable stumbles along the way towards a settled system".
"The raising of the real property gains tax (RPGT) rates as a measure to dampen property speculation is also appropriate as are the plans for a Services Sector Blueprint and a Logistics Sector Masterplan," said MICCI.
"There remains of course the need to implement the proposed measures effectively and efficiently but taking the difficult decisions and embarking along a positive path to development is an essential starting position. There will be more difficult decisions to be taken in future but a good start has been made," it added.
All in, MICCI believes the prime minister has earned a commendable scorecard in this budget.