KUALA LUMPUR: The government spent RM164.2bil in the first quarter of this year to manage the country and provide Covid-19 aid, says Deputy Finance Minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah.
"The expenditure was an increase of 5.7% over what was spent in the same period last year," he said when replying to a question by Fong Kui Lun (PH-Bukit Bintang) in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Sept 23).
Of the amount, he said RM117.4bil was for management expenditure, RM28.4bil for development expenditure, and RM18.4bil for Covid-19-related expenditure.
Mohd Shahar noted that 82.5% of development expenditure went to the economic and social sectors.
"For example, RM18.9bil of development expenditure was for Bantuan Perihatin Nasional, RM3.7bil for wage subsidy, RM2bil for special grants to micro entrepreneurs and small to medium enterprises," he said.
Mohd Shahar informed the House that although government revenue had increased by 4.6% to RM106.4bil for the first quarter over the same period last year, the increase was still lower than expected.
He said to address this, the government would seek to increase revenue through several measures which will be announced in Budget 2022.
Among the measures would be the introduction of a tax identification number, and the tightening of smoking controls such as imposing tax on vape products.
To a question by Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) on the exact amount of shortfall in government revenue, Mohd Shahar said it would be known later in the year.
To a suggestion by Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Ind-Muar) for windfall taxes to be imposed on rubber glove manufacturers who made huge profits due the pandemic, Mohd Shahar said such a move needed careful consideration.
He also told Syed Saddiq that RM400mil in revenue contribution from the corporate sector including rubber glove manufacturers last year was used to help in the nation's fight against Covid-19.