Deficit would have been higher with­out GST, says Na­jib

New Straits Times - - News | Nation -

Malaysia has been spared a worse eco­nomic back­lash, in­clud­ing a higher deficit and a weaker ring­git, be­cause of the Goods and Ser­vices Tax.

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib said he had been told by Bank Ne­gara Gover­nor Datuk Muham­mad Ibrahim yes­ter­day that the coun­try’s firm fun­da­men­tals and rev­enue col­lected from var­i­ous taxes and duties, in­clud­ing GST, had al­lowed the na­tion to ride out the un­cer­tain global eco­nomic cli­mate.

“I was told that Malaysia is lucky to have GST.

“Oth­er­wise, the coun­try’s deficit may rise be­tween six and seven per cent com­pared with the cur­rent 3.1 per cent.

“And, the ring­git may be weaker, per­haps around RM6 or RM7 than what it is now, at about RM4.45 against the US dol­lar,” he said at the Cus­toms De­part­ment ap­pre­ci­a­tion night.

Na­jib, who is also fi­nance min­is­ter, said the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to im­ple­ment GST was done at the right time.

Later in Kuala Lumpur, Na­jib said the econ­omy was grow­ing at an en­cour­ag­ing pace with ef­forts un­der way to make it more ro­bust.

In his Face­book posting, he up­loaded pic­tures of him be­ing briefed by Muham­mad, along­side Sec­ond Fi­nance Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Jo­hari Ab­dul Ghani, Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s De­part­ment Datuk Seri Ab­dul Rah­man Dahlan and Chief Sec­re­tary to the Gov­ern­ment Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa.

“I re­ceived a brief­ing on the coun­try’s lat­est eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment by BNM. Al­ham­dulil­lah, the statis­tics showed en­cour­ag­ing num­bers.

“There are sev­eral in­di­ca­tors show­ing that some im­prove­ments are needed and we will in­crease our ef­forts and fo­cus on these sec­tors.”

He said they dis­cussed poli­cies and the foun­da­tions of the eco­nomic struc­ture to strengthen the econ­omy.

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