Date of publication: Nov 18, 2013
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 009
Byline / Author: By Jaspal Singh
IPOH: THE government will set up a special committee to monitor and ensure smooth implementation of the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will come into force on April 1, 2015.
Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said the committee, to be formed by year-end and to be chaired by him, would ensure that the public understood the new taxation system.
"The government is aware that many people still have little knowledge and understanding of GST.
"After the prime minister tabled the 2014 Budget, the government set up a framework to educate the public about the new tax.
"This committee will monitor the implementation of GST and ensure that Malaysians understand the system," he said at the Tambun Barisan Nasional Deepavali open house here yesterday.
Husni said the committee would comprise several ministers and the departments and agencies under their ministries.
He added that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) would be invited to be on board the monitoring committee.
Husni said his ministry was currently listing the ministries and agencies to be inducted into the committee.
Asked on how the government planned to educate the public about GST, he said the briefing sessions would be carried out at all parliamentary constituencies.
"Admittedly, we cannot reach out to each and every constituent, but we hope the majority of them will be exposed to the briefings."
Husni said over the last two years, more than 200,000 individuals from federal and state government agencies as well as NGOs had been briefed on GST.
He said those involved in past briefings were from the top echelons, but the upcoming sessions would focus on those at the grassroots level.
On a separate matter, Husni said the government was confident of achieving an annual growth rate of 4.5 to 5 per cent this year.
He said the projection followed the government's confidence that the fourth quarter growth would surpass five per cent.
"This is because the government's investment under the development expenditure in the third quarter was still being executed then.
"But the effect of this investment will reach its pinnacle in the current quarter. So we are on track to achieve our growth target for this year."
Although the International Monetary Fund revised world growth for this year from 3.1 per cent to 2.9 per cent, Husni said the third quarter for almost all countries had shown positive growth.