KUALA LUMPUR: The Service Tax Bill 2018 was passed in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Aug 8) without much hassle, unlike the Sales Tax Bill 2018 the day before.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Service Tax would be beneficial to the rakyat, unlike the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which was a burden.
With the abolishing of GST, Lim said local and state governments can now benefit, as they no longer need to pay the 6% tax for projects.
“Before this, any road project, even longkang (drainage) upgrading projects would need have the 6% added.
“This is something very close to my heart. I know many projects that would have benefited the people were put on hold by the state governments simply because they were unable to bear the costs due to GST,” he said in his winding-up address on Wednesday (Aug 8).
Under the Sales and Service Tax (SST) the cost of such development and infrastructure projects is exempted, meaning the cost would be lower for local and state governments.
To another question raised by Awang Hashim (PAS-Pendang) on the measures to tackle the “black economy”, Lim said that it is something that can be reduced with better computerisation system.
He hoped that in the age of digital economy, the upgrade in computerisation systems will help reduce the black economy.
“This is a challenge that the Customs Department must overcome. Before this, it was the manual system, but now with the computerisation of the system (things should improve)… especially when we are moving towards a blockchain era.
“So it is a problem due to technology and the Customs Department must look into this,” he added.