KOTA BARU: The Government dismissed claims it's giving preferential treatment to China investments such as the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project by granting them relief from the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pic) said that many government projects were given relief from GST.
"This is nothing out of the ordinary. We do not give special, preferential treatment to certain people," he told a press conference here on Tuesday (April 17).
He was asked to comment on allegations made by Parti Amanah Negara vice-president Husam Musa who showed documents that the China-owned Communications Construction Company (CCCC) was given GST relief for the ECRL project.
The document uploaded on Husam's Facebook page was a certificate of GST relief for the acquisition of goods and services for the ECRL project and issued in the name of China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd.
The certificate was accompanied by a letter with CCCC's letterhead informing its supplier that it was granted GST relief, based on a letter by the Finance Ministry dated Feb 7.
"In fact, a few government projects have been given GST relief," said Mustapa, adding that the claims were made on purpose to confuse the public.
"It is the government's policy that certain projects will be given GST relief, not just projects from China," he said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who recently launched the groundbreaking ceremony of the ECRL project here, said that the project was a game changer as it would create more than 80,000 jobs for locals.
The ECRL, stretching 688km from Port Klang in Selangor to Tumpat in Kelantan, is expected to be completed by June 2024.