PETALING JAYA: The government achieved its fiscal deficit target for 2019 of 3.4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
"We reached the target 100 per cent, we achieved a fiscal deficit of 3.4 per cent of GDP. We definitely achieved it," he told reporters after the Kuala Lumpur Customs Department’s Meet the Customer Day here today.
Lim also announced that in 2010 the government collected RM27.6 billion in Sales and Service Tax (SST) revenue, surpassing the target of RM22 billion in the Budget.
He said it showed that the economy is still sustainable.
"If you ask about the shortfall of RM17 billion because the GST collection was previously RM44 billion, in actual fact it is RM9 billion, because from this amount almost half are refunds which were supposed to have been paid," he added.
Asked if the government could afford to abolish the GST, Lim said in the last Budget, the government had expected a gap of RM10 billion in SST collection compared to the GST.
"In the previous Budget we estimated that the gap would be RM10 billion but the gap was less than RM8 billion, and we are also announcing measures to cover that gap.
"We are all going according to plan, and the good news is the gap is a bit smaller at between RM1.5 billion to RM 2 billion and we are able to cover that shortfall, so everything is according to plan fiscally," he said.
Lim also announced that for this year, the government targets to collect RM27.5 billion in SST revenue, but expressed optimism that the final revenue collection could be more. - Bernama
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