PASIR GUDANG, May 5 (Bernama) — The government is looking into further reducing corporate and individual tax in the 2012 Budget to be tabled in Parliament on Oct 7, said Finance Deputy Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai.
He said the reduction was possible once the long-awaited goods and services tax (GST) was enforced.
More than 225 countries in the world have implemented the GST and Malaysia will have to introduce it sooner or later,” he told reporters after opening Pantech Group Holdings Bhd’s RM100 million Pantech Stainless and Alloy Industries Sdn Bhd at the Pasir Gudang Industrial Estate here Thursday.
By implementing the GST, Lim said the government hoped to reduce the country’s national deficit to between 2.8 per cent and 3 per cent by 2015 from five per cent currently.
The deputy minister also said the business fraternity and industries could expect some “goodies” as the government acknowledged the vital role played by the private sector to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020.
Lim said there would be more incentives for foreign and domestic investors and local entrepreneurs in next year’s budget.
He however declined to divulge details prior to the budget announcement.
Lim said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would attend the pre-budget dialogue with industry players to discuss trade-related issues.
He said the government welcomed captains of industry to provide suggestions at the dialogue for possible inclusion in the budget.
“The government wants to listen to issues and problems faced by the business fraternity including the high cost of doing business and problems encountered in hiring domestic skilled workers.
“To become an advanced nation by 2020, 40 per cent of Malaysia’s total workforce must be skilled labour but currently only 29 per cent of them are skilled,” he said.
The manufacturing sector’s reliance on foreign labour has to be reduced and domestic companies must be willing to offer better salaries to woo local workers, he added.
Present at the event were Pantech Group executive chairman and managing director Datuk Jimmy Chew Ting Leng, group deputy managing director Datuk Goh Teoh Kean and state executive councillor for international trade and industry Tan Kok Hong.
Source : Bernama