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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

PM: GST is the way forward

Posted on 15 April 2014 - 08:45pm
Last updated on 15 April 2014 - 09:02pm

PUTRAJAYA: The economic transformation programme being undertaken in the country must continue, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak (pix).

"Any indication that the process will be slowed down or reviewed will give negative signals on the economy," he told the Finance Ministry monthly gathering here today.

He said measures like fiscal consolidation and subsidy rationalisation, including the Goods and Services Tax, must be carried out prudently without being too extreme and burdensome on the people.

"We must carry out these measures in order to further strengthen the country's financial position. Fundamentals such as this show the government's earnestness and political will as such global confidence, including that of international rating agencies, will be more positive towards Malaysia," said Najib, who is also Finance Minister.

He believed this was the best way to show Malaysia's capabilties to compete with other economies and to achieve moderately high economic growth.

"If there is no economic growth our burden will get heavier. Whatever we want to carry out, including fiscal consolidation, will be very taxing without encouraging economic growth.

"That's why our commitment to attain more or less around 5% (economic growth). Last year, we recorded a Gross Domestic Product growth of 4.7% and this year, God willing, we can achieve a higher growth," he said.

Najib said the government could not always depend on policies that were popular.

"For example, the GST is very good to any economy... We all know the way forward is via GST which can determine the country's future and prosperity.

"But, there are still groups who, to get political mileage, oppose this although it is for the good of the people.

"We admit, cost may go up a bit in the first year of implementation, that will only be one-off, we have measures to ensure that it would not be so taxing on the people. What's important is the country's financial standing will be firm and strong," he added. – Bernama

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