Reduced levy takes effect

PUTRAJAYA: The reduced extension levy fees for foreign workers in five sectors have finally been enforced, says Immigration Depart­ment’s Foreign Workers division director Datuk Khairul Khar Yahya.

“I would like to announce the good news that reduced levy from RM10,000 to RM6,000 for the construction, manufacturing and service sectors was gazetted on April 30.

“This means that those whose permits expire from April 30 on­­wards are eligible for the new reduced rates,” he said during a townhall session with over 80 foreign workers’ agents organised by Persatuan Agensi Pekerjaan Malaysia here.

He said the gazette would also come into force for those in the plantation and agriculture sectors from RM3,500 to RM2,000.

He said those who had paid the RM10,000 and RM3,500 levy fees for workers between Oct 1 last year to April 29 would not be refunded.

He clarified that this was because the reduced rates, as announced by the Finance Minister, could only come into effect after going through the due legal process.

“It is not that we were delaying it, but it is a legal process which involves going through the Home Ministry and the Attorney General’s Chambers before it is handed to the Chief Secretary to obtain the royal assent.

“Even after getting the royal assent, it has to be gazetted first. I only received the gazette last night (May 1),” he said.

He also noted that the reduced rate for the extension levy would be valid for a year.

In the 2019 Budget announcement, Lim said the government allowed employers to extend the services of their foreign workers who had worked for more than 10 years for another three years.

But employers were required to pay a RM10,000 levy for the manufacturing, services and construction sectors, while the levy extension for the agriculture and plantation sectors was RM3,500.

Following an outcry from employers, Lim announced that the Cabinet had decided to reduce the levy extension to RM6,000 and RM2,000 respectively.

Following his announcement, there was confusion among employers and business operators as they still had to pay the initial rate of RM10,000 and RM3,500.


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