Windfall tax to return?

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 22 May 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government may reintroduce a windfall tax as a means to increase its revenue, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad.

He said the Government’s anti-inflation committee was considering the tax which would affect companies or industries which were making a lot of profits.

“We are looking at imposing an excess profit or windfall tax on certain industries to ensure balance distribution of income to deserving groups,” he told newsmen Wednesday after announcing the Consumer Price Index figures for January to April.

Shahrir said the affected industries would be those whose incomes were not affected by declines or improvements of the country’s economy.

When asked which industry would be affected, he declined to elaborate and told reporters to wait for an official announcement on the matter.

“We are not just looking at price control measures but also ways to increase the Government’s revenue,” he said.

On when the Government would start using smartcards to better manage subsidies, Shahrir said: “It will be this year.”

He said at the moment, a special committee led by the Finance Ministry, was looking at various proposals on the matter.

“For instance, for petrol subsidy for deserving groups, there is a proposal to use MyKad for registration and subsequently bank card or special card.

“There is also a proposal to give a certain amount of money based on the car capacity. All proposals will be taken into consideration,” he said.

On whether the tax would be imposed on the palm oil industry, he said the committee was thoroughly looking into introducing a new cess structure for the industry to make it simpler and fair.

He also hinted that there might be liberation of the local cement industry following that of the steel industry.

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