GST will beef up country’s finances given the slump in oil prices, says Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 9): The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is timely as it will beef up the country's finances at a time when slumping oil prices have adversely affected petroleum earnings and dividends, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in an interview with TV3, which was later reported by Bernama.

According to Najib, there was no right time to implement the GST, yet declining oil prices have somewhat lent support to the government's move to introduce the new tax regime.

The Prime Minister also explained that the government has been preparing for the GST since the 80's and it was not a new thing.

"The price of crude oil has fallen, so has the price of petroleum and diesel which has benefitted the people. So, we have implemented the GST now. From the macro point of view, this is the right time, as the government needs additional source of revenue to offset the shortfall accruing from sliding crude oil prices. So it is an opportune time to introduce the GST now,” he said.

Najib was speaking during a special edition of the 'Soal Jawab' programme broadcasted tonight over TV3 and moderated by Hamdan Ahmir.

He said no other country, except Malaysia, has zero-rated GST on more than 4,000 types of goods and services, including essential products, or exempted them from GST.