Khairy claims Putrajaya didn’t need Petronas money for GST refund

Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin says Putrajaya might not have needed to use the RM30 billion special dividend from Petronas to repay the RM27 billion in outstanding tax owed. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin says Putrajaya might not have needed to use the RM30 billion special dividend from Petronas to repay the RM27 billion in outstanding tax owed. — Picture by Choo Choy May

SUBANG JAYA, March 12 — The Pakatan Harapan federal government might not have needed to use the RM30 billion special dividend from national oil company Petronas to repay the RM27 billion in outstanding tax owed, Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin suggested today.

The Umno lawmaker questioned the necessity to fully settle the refunds, which include yet to be verified claims for the unpopular Goods and Services Tax (GST) amounting to RM19 billion that the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government introduced in April 2015.

Khairy, who holds the Shadow Finance Ministry portfolio, said the verification of the Petronas GST refunds is currently being scrutinised by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which he said may be tabled by the committee next week.

“The outstanding GST refunds is still being discussed by the PAC and it may be tabled in a week or so we will get the report from PAC on it,” he told reporters after speaking at the Malaysian Strategic Financial Outlook Forum here

“This year, the special RM30 billion Petronas dividend is requested for tax refunds. If the refunds is not yet verified, then there is a problem there.

“They have taken money from Petronas which you didn't need to take yet or at all. That is what the PAC is trying to ascertain,” he added.

Earlier last month, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced the government has begun the process of repaying arrears of RM37 billion in tax refunds.

Petronas had last November agreed to contribute a one-off RM30 billion special dividend to Putrajaya this year, in order to settle the outstanding tax refunds left behind by the previous Barisan Nasional administration.

In the Fiscal Outlook 2019 report, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration said the remaining RM7 billion of outstanding refunds will be covered by savings in government spending.

Of the RM37 billion still outstanding, the Federal government stated RM19 billion is for GST refunds, while the rest is for income tax refunds.