KUALA LUMPUR: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) could bring in annual revenue of between RM20 billion to RM30 billion and help the country reduce its debt burden, said Senator Datuk Chin Su Phin.
"I believe the GST is value added as it would give us a continuous revenue stream. It is not a new thing as its implementation was planned seven years ago, it's just that the opposition has been confusing the people on the issue," he said during the debate on the 2014 Supply Bill, Tuesday.
According to Forbes magazine, household debt in Malaysia stands at a worrying 83 per cent of gross domestic product and the GST could help curb Malaysians' spending habits.
Chin expressed hope that the GST would not be applied to basic items such as children's needs while urging the government to reduce the GST rate from six per cent to three per cent as is done by many countries which have recently implemented the GST.
He also expressed confidence the government would have studied the socio-economic impact of implementing the GST and subsidy rationalisation to ensure only the target groups benefit.
The government should also look at the threat of corruption, he said, citing Greece, which fell to 94th spot in Transparency International's 2012 Corruptions Perception Index from 80th in 2011, ranking it the most corrupt of the 27 European Union countries.