Customs says requested RM82.9b for GST refunds, but fund still short by RM19.4b

The Customs Department said it made the request during the monthly Trust Fund meeting for the period of April 1 to May 31, 2018. — Picture by Choo Choy May
The Customs Department said it made the request during the monthly Trust Fund meeting for the period of April 1 to May 31, 2018. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 — The Customs Department revealed today that it requested RM82.9 billion from Putrajaya for Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds, but only received RM63.5 billion through the consumption tax’s Trust Fund.

It said it made the request during the monthly Trust Fund meeting for the period of April 1 to May 31, 2018.

“As at May 31, 2018, the Trust Fund still needed and was short to pay the GST refunds arreared amounting to RM19.4 billion,” Customs director-general Datuk Seri Subramaniam Tholasy said in a statement.

The Customs Department explained that the Trust Fund is a fund established for GST refunds under Section 54 of the GST Act 2014.

All GST collection goes into the government Consolidated Fund Account, which is then transferred to the Trust Fund for the refund process.

On Wednesday, while tabling the GST (Repeal) Bill 2018 for the second reading in the Dewan Rakyat, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the total outstanding amount of GST refunds since its introduction in 2015 is RM19.4 billion.

He, however, said that the amount left in the Trust Fund is only RM1.486 billion, which leaves a shortfall of RM18 billion.

The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has since announced a probe into the matter.

In two separate occasions, Umno’s Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin lodged a police report over the claim, while former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar lodged a corruption complaint.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was the finance minister from September 2008 to May this year, has since accused the Pakatan Harapan government of using the money for its expenses instead.

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