Najib: Govt may have spent money from refund account to cover expenses after GST zero rated

13-Aug-2018 Intellasia | New Straits Times | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Datuk Seri Najib Razak has dismissed Finance minister Lim Guan Eng’s allegation that RM18 billion from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund account had gone missing.

Instead, the former prime minister said it was possible that the newly-minted government had spent money which was in the consolidated fund to cover expenses when they zero rated the GST from June 1.

“What probably happened is that when they zero rated the GST, businesses immediately rushed to get back their input tax credit.

“However, the government had lost its income from GST collection for three months, and the Sales and Service Tax (SST) has yet to be implemented. Therefore, it is possible the government used money from the consolidated account to cover its monthly expenses,” he said.

Najib, who is former Finance minister, said as a result of losing revenue from GST collection, and having spent money from the consolidated fund account, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government naturally needed to find a scapegoat.

“They faced problems in paying all those people who were demanding their GST refund payments.

“As usual, they needed someone to blame and immediately started pointing fingers at Barisan Nasional (BN) even though the mistake is clearly theirs,” he said.

Najib said Lim’s allegation that money from the refund account had gone missing was a politically motivated statement which was not true.

“It is similar to his previous allegation regarding the gas pipeline project involving a China-based company. Lim and Tony Pua (Damansara member of parliament), issued slanderous statements that the Chinese company had conspired with BN to commit money laundering.

“However, Lim has remained silent after the company denied the allegation,” he said.

Najib said just like any other tax or revenue collections, all GST collection was paid directly into the government’s consolidated revenue account.

He said from there, funds are then paid into the GST refunds trust account on a monthly basis to meet the refund payments required on an on-going basis.

“This is allowed by law and conforms to the GST Act 2014, which was debated in Parliament where PH leaders were present, including our current finance minister, so he should know.

“Therefore, no money was ‘robbed’ as the GST collections were in the consolidated revenue account,” he said in a statement.

Najib said there was “every possibility” the government would add the “BN robbed RM18 billion” allegation to their “self-created RM1 trillion national debt” claims.

This, he said would be added to the list of excuses for the government to use in justifying their inability to deliver promises in the PH manifesto.

“It is possible they may also cut or abolish aid to the people or not make the refund payments,” he said.

Najib said he was willing to cooperate with anyone since police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) reports had been made and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) too had said they planned to hold an inquiry into the RM18 billion robbery claim.

“I will provide my full cooperation as the former finance minister, so that the truth can come out.

“If the allegation is found to be untrue, it will be clear that Lim has misled the Parliament by making such a serious allegation.

“I hope the Parliament speaker will no longer protect Lim as the Parliament is not a place to make such baseless and serious politically motivated accusation,” he said.

The controversy surrounding the missing money started when Lim claimed in Parliament on Wednesday that BN had “robbed” RM18 billion in GST refund claims.

He said the government had failed to pay GST claims amounting to RM19.4 billion up to May 31.


Category: Malaysia

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