KUALA LUMPUR,Dec 7: Deputy Finance Minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah said today the goods and services tax (GST) scrapped in 2018 is not an option for the government to re-implement.

He said the government is looking at other measures for the benefit of the people and to strengthen the economy.

These include setting up a multi-agency task force to cut costs, look into ways to expand revenue and improve governance.

“We will review all the aspects first,” he said when replying to an additional question by Mohamad Sabu (PH-Kota Raja), who asked if the government will re-implement GST.

To another question by Mohamad on the downgrading of Malaysia’s debt rating from “A-” to “BBB+” by Fitch Ratings, Shahar said it was not caused by internal factors.

He also said that this year’s budget announced in 2019 was based on the oil price of US$60 per barrel with a deficit of 3.2%.

But, because of the Covid-19 crisis, the oil price dropped to US$40 per barrel with a higher deficit.

Last week, Fitch downgraded Malaysia’s sovereign rating with an improved outlook from negative to stable.

It expects Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to contract by 6.1% in 2020 before rebounding by 6.7% in 2021 as a result of base effects, a revival of infrastructure projects and further recovery of exports of manufactured goods and commodities.


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