BANGI, Dec 23 – The government has not made any decision to rationalise subsidies for other products other than oil and sugar at this juncture, said Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani. He said at the moment the government has decided that the subsidy rationalisation is limited to the two products.
Hence, Johari dismissed the notion that the subsidy rationalisation would be imposed on other necessities such as cooking oil and rice. He said even though the economic environment was more challenging amid moderate global economic growth, decline in commodities prices as well as the volatility in financial markets, Malaysia’s economy was still stable.
He said this to reporters after the launch of the Inland Revenue Board’s (IRB) Information Processing Centre here, Tuesday. He said it was true that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to grow at 4.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent this year and was expected to continue to grow albeit at a slower growth of 4.0 per cent to 5.0 per cent.
According to him, the federal government was projected to record a revenue of RM222.5 billion this year, whereby direct taxes would contribute RM116.8 billion, indirect taxes RM53.3 billion and non-tax revenue RM52.4 billion. He also said that the government is also committed in its efforts for fiscal consolidation to reduce the deficit towards achieving a balanced budget, as well as ensuring the country’s finance position continues to be stable.
He said the government deficit is expected to continue to fall from 3.2 per cent of GDP this year to 3.1 per cent next year. Meanwhile, IRB chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Shukor Mahfar in his speech said the people should accept the fact that Malaysia was still dependent on tax revenue. He said this was because 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the country’s requirements for the annual budget were funded by tax collection revenue.