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PAS leaders hit out at Budget 2014

Oct 26: There is nothing special in Budget 2014, says PAS leaders, citing absence of ‘big steps’ to strengthen the fiscal position of the country.


“Goods and services tax (GST) as predicted. Budget 2014 should have been about fighting corruption, stopping leakages, prudent spending and not about raising taxes to increase revenue,” PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu told Harakahdaily today.


Yesterday, Prime Minister Najib Razak had tabled the Budget 2014 that included the debut of GST in 2015 at a whopping 6 percent.


Amid the furore against the wastages and leakages reported in the Auditor General’s Report 2012, operating expenditure in Budget 2014 is increased by RM15.8 billion from RM201.9 billion in 2013 to RM217.7 billion in 2014, a figure higher than the increase in overall revenue at RM15.5 billion, from RM208.6 billion in 2013 to RM224.1 billion in 2014.


On GST, PAS research centre director Dzulkefly Ahmad said the six percent debut rate is too high.


“Najib has also announced the reduction in income and corporate tax at the same time. This is inappropriate, as the lower income group will not get the benefits. 6 percent of GST is too high, Singapore only started at 3 percent,” he said.


Not denying that GST is a measure to increase revenue, Dzulkefly however cautioned that the implementation must not done in haste due to the complexity of the system.


“Accountants and officers will need to learn. 18 months might not be sufficient,” said Dzulkefly, referring to GST debut date of April 1, 2015.


Echoing PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Dzulkefly also warned the people to be too happy about the basic necessities that to be exempted from GST.


“For example rice is exempted from GST. But products made from rice are not exempted at each level of the chain,” he said.


Tuan Ibrahim yesterday in a Facebook posting yesterday reminded his fans that pastries made from items made by basic necessities exempted from GST such as sugar, salt, rice and flour would not be exempted from GST.


Meanwhile, Dzulkefly also cited a report by Ministry of Finance stating that country’s debts has reached RM543.3 billion, or 54.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).


“That means we only have a 0.2 percent buffer before violating the limit of 55 percent of GDP,” added the former Kuala Selangor MP.



Source from: Harakah Daily

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