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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak unveiled Malaysia’s 2015 budget today, with an eyes on how the government plans to cut the fiscal deficit, bring down its own debt, piled up close to a self-imposed limit of 55 per cent of gross domestic product.
The following are highlights of Najib’s ongoing speech to parliament:
– Government aims to lower fiscal deficit to 3.0 per cent in 2015 from an expected 3.5 per cent this year.
– 2015 budget allocates total RM273.9 billion, an increase of RM9.8 billion compared with the 2014 initial allocation.
– Operating expenditure RM223.4 billion, development expenditure RM50.5 billion.
– Payments to civil servants of RM65.6 billion is largest operating expenditure item.
– Federal government revenue collection estimated at RM235.2 billion in 2015, an increase of RM10.2 billion from 2014.
– Revenue from goods and services tax to be introduced in April at rate of 6 per cent expected to be RM23.2 billion, but after allowing for the abolition of the sales and services tax, and exemptions and funds channelled back to people through assistance programmes net revenue collection is expected to only be RM690 million.
– Income tax rates to be cut by one to three percentage points. Families with monthly income of less than RM4,000 will not have to pay tax.
– From 2016, the corporate tax rate will be reduced by one percentage point from 25 per cent to 24 per cent, and for small and medium sized enterprises to 19 per cent from 20 per cent.
– The Economic Report said government plans to reduce the overall bill for subsidies and cash assistance by 7 per cent to RM37.7 billion in 2015 from RM40.6 billion in 2014.
– Prime Minister Najib says he will reform the petroleum subsidy regime soon, to adopt a system that benefits less well off.
– Budget extends 50 per cent stamp duty exemption for first-time home buyers and increases the purcase limit from RM400,000 to RM500,000. The exemption will be given until the end of 2016.
– Malaysia to move to self-assessment for real property gains tax from 2016.
– Export duty exemption for crude palm oil extended until December 31, 2014.
– Eastern Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak to be allocated RM4.5 billion to upgrade facilities in rural areas. — Reuters