KUALA LUMPUR: Budget 2014’s agenda focuses on cost of living, education, business, housing and employment that will benefit the people and business community, says Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (MAICCI) president Tan Sri K.K. Eswaran.
He said the Budget is aimed at expanding the economy at a strong pace and to ensure that the people will continue to prosper.
“The move to replace the existing sales tax and service tax with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will improve public finances for the medium and long term,” he said.
Eswaran said the proposal to reduce the individual income tax rate by one to three percentage points for all taxpayers will increase their disposable income, while the move to reduce corporate income tax by one per cent from 25% from 2016 will provide a further boost to businesses.
The increase in the quantum of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid from RM500 to RM650 is also welcomed by MAICCI.
Eswaran lauded the Government’s move to allocate RM1.9bil to build 123,000 affordable homes under the PR1MA programme as it will enable more Malaysians to own homes.
The attention given to Indians makes Budget 2014 a fantastic one, said Penang Indian Chamber of Commerce honorary secretary Datuk S.S.T. Muniandy in Penang.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced an allocation of RM100mil to enhance education performance and skills training for the Indian community, including RM28mil for early education programmes involving 176 Tamil pre-schools and i-Sinar programmes.
The education programmes aim to improve the performance of students through counselling, motivation and tuition in 45 Tamil schools located within estates, and ensure they remain part of the mainstream development.
According to Eswaran, all the allocations help to give disadvantaged Indians a good headstart.
Muniandy said the Government’s allocation of RM100mil to enhance education performance and skills training for Indians would enable youths to develop skills needed for employment.