Abdullah proposes that tax panel hold public hearings on GST

PUTRAJAYA: The public will be able to give their views on how the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) should be implemented to a panel set up to review the country’s tax code.  

The Taxation System Review Panel is chaired by Datuk Kamariah Hussain, 56, who is currently the Tax Division’s Under-Secretary of Tax Analysis at the Finance Ministry. 

The panel will comprise eight members, three from the public sector and five from the private sector. 

The panel will conduct a review of the tax system and make recommendations for legislative changes required before the GST can be implemented in 2007. 

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he had proposed that the panel hold public hearings.  

QUICK REVIEW: Abdullah looking through documents after leaving the press conference on the Budget at the Finance Ministry in Putrajaya Monday. With him are Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Deputy Finance Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen.

“We want to hear views that are reasonable for implementation by the Government,” he told the media here yesterday. 

Abdullah proposed the GST when tabling Budget 2005 last Friday.  

When the GST is implemented, the current Sales and Service Tax will be abolished.  

Corporate and personal income tax rates will also be reduced in 2007 but the quantum of such cuts together with an appropriate rate for the GST will be decided after the panel completes its review of the new tax system for Malaysia. 

Click on image to go to Budget 2005 website

“We need to be prepared before its implementation and a lot of issues need to be looked at, such as the tax rate for GST and what type of businesses that will be included for the purpose of GST,” said Abdullah. 

The Prime Minister said the welfare of the lower-income group would be carefully considered when an exemption list for GST was finalised. 

Later at a dinner here last night, Abdullah expressed his satisfaction at the positive feedback received so far for Budget 2005. 

“We have received heartening feedback for the new budget, and the stock market has also responded well. 

“I believe we could work even harder for the development and success of our economy,” he said in his speech at the Budget 2005 dinner at the Finance Ministry here.  

Related story:PM: We’ll continue to reduce budget deficit 

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