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Highlights : Malaysia Budget 2014

Highlights : Malaysia Budget 2014

Our Prime Minister has unveiled government’s budget for 2014 on Friday, seeking to address a large fiscal deficit, shrinking current account surplus and growing debt pile that are sources of concern for investors and ratings agencies.

Following are highlights from Najib’s ongoing speech to
parliament:

CIVIL SERVICE

  • Pensioners will receive a special financial assistance of 250 ringgit to assist them meet the rising cost of living.
  • Government to give a half-month bonus for 2013 with a minimum payment of RM500 to be paid in early January 2014.

CASH HANDOUTS

  • Cash handouts to households with a monthly income of below 3,000 ringgit will be increased to 650 ringgit from 500 ringgit.
  • For individuals aged 21 and above and with a monthly income not exceeding 2,000 ringgit, cash handouts will be increased to 300 ringgit from 250 ringgit.
  • For the first time, cash assistance of 450 ringgit will be extended to households with a monthly income of between 3,000-4,000 ringgit. rising cost of living borne by the lower middle-income group.
  • To implement all cash schemes, government will allocate 4.6 billion ringgit which is expected to benefit 7.9 million recipients.

REAL PROPERTY GAINS TAX

  • For gains on properties disposed within the holding period of up to 3 years, RPGT rate is increased to 30 percent.
  • For disposals within the holding period up to 4 and 5 years, the rates are increased to 20 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Malaysian property firms with exposure to this tax change include UEM Sunrise, Mah Sing Group and Tropicana Corp .
  • Raise the minimum price of property that can be purchased by foreigners to 1 million ringgit from 500,000 ringgit.
  • Prohibit developers from implementing projects that have features of Developer Interest Bearing Scheme (DIBS), to prevent developers from incorporating interest rates on loans in house prices during the construction period.
  • Financial institutions are prohibited from providing final funding for projects involved in the DIBS scheme. Malaysia’s top three banks are Maybank, CIMB and Public Bank.

AFFORDABLE HOMES

  • To further increase access to home ownership at affordable prices, an estimated 223,000 units of new houses will be built by the government and the private sector in 2014.
  • Companies that specialise in affordable housing development include Hua Yang Bhd.
  • Government to allocate 578 million ringgit to the National Housing Department (JPN) for low cost flats consisting of 16,473 housing units.
  • Malaysian’s government to provide 80,000 housing units with an allocation of 1 billion ringgit under affordable housing scheme. The sales price of the houses will be 20 percent lower than market prices.
  • Introduce the Private Affordable Ownership Housing Scheme (MyHome) to encourage the private sector to build more low and medium-cost houses. The scheme provides a subsidy of 30,000 ringgit to the private developers for each unit built.
  • Preference will be given to developers who build low and medium-cost houses in areas with high demand and limited to 10,000 units in 2014.
  • The scheme is for housing projects approved effective from 1 January 2014 with an allocation of 300 million ringgit.

TAX RELIEF

  • Government proposes a special tax relief of 2,000 ringgit be given to tax payers with a monthly income up to 8,000 ringgit received in 2013.

GOODS AND SALES TAX

  • To implement goods and services tax (GST) on April 1, 2015 – 17 months from now.
  • GST rate fixed at six percent, the lowest among ASEAN countries.
  • GST replaces current sales tax.
  • Basic food items, transportation services, highway tolls, water and first 200 units of electricity for domestic users per month to be exempt from GST.
  • Sale, purchase and rental of residential properties as well as selected financial services are exempted from GST.
  • PM Najib: “The reality is that inflation now is low at around 2 percent. The government is confident this will be the best time to impose GST as inflation is minimal and under control.”
  • Training grant of 100 million ringgit will be provided to businesses that send their employees for GST training in 2013and 2014.
  • Financial assistance amounting to 150 million ringgit will be provided to small and medium enterprises for the purchase of accounting software in 2014 and 2015.

CORPORATE TAX

  • corporate income tax rate be reduced by 1 percentage from 25 percent to 24 percent.
  • income tax rate for small and medium companies will be reduced by 1 percentage point from 20 percent to 19 percent from the year of assessment 2016.

INCOME TAX

  • government to give one-off cash assistance of 300 ringgit to low income households
  • personal income tax rates be reduced by 1 to 3 percentage points for all tax payers.
  • individual income tax structure will be reviewed
  • chargeable income subject to the maximum rate will be increased from exceeding 100,000 ringgit to exceeding 400,000 ringgit.
  • Current maximum tax rate at 26 percent to be reduced to 24 percent
  • measures to be effective in 2015

SUBSIDIES

  • Subsidy programme to be “gradually restructured”
  • A portion of savings from restructuring to be distributed in the form of direct cash assistance with the other half to finance development projects.
  • To abolish the sugar subsidy of 34 sen effective October 26 2013.

IMPROVING BUDGET MANAGEMENT

  • committed to reducing the fiscal deficit gradually, with the aim of achieving a balanced budget by 2020.
  • to ensure federal debt level will remain low and not exceed 55 percent of GDP.
  • government to conduct audits on projects valued at more than 100 million ringgit during its implementation.

ISLAMIC FINANCE

  • Securities Commission to introduce the a framework for Social Responsible Investment (SRI) Sukuk, or Islamic bonds, to finance “sustainable and responsible” investment initiatives.

AGRICULTURE

  • Government to allocate six billion ringgit allocated for agriculture programmes.
  • Says to 243 million ringgit allocated for rubber, palm oil and cocoa replanting as well as forest plantation programmes.
  • Main plantation companies in Malaysia include Sime Darby , IOI Corp and KL Kepong.

LOGISTICS

  • Government to allocate 3 billion ringgit in soft loans under the Maritime Development Fund through Bank Pembangunan Malaysia.
  • The fund is to provide financing to encourage the development of the shipping industry, shipyard construction, oil and gas as well as maritime-related support activities.

AVIATION

  • To replace existing air traffic control and management system in Subang, a new air traffic management centre costing 700 million ringgit will be built at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
  • Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Miri, Sibu and Mukah airports in Sabah and Sarawak to be upgraded with 312 million ringgit allocation.
  • Malaysia Airports manages and operates all airports across the country except for one in Johor.

PUBLIC INVESTMENTS

  • Public investments to reach 106 billion ringgit. Projects to be implemented include:
  • A 316-kilometre West Coast Expressway. Locally listed Kumpulan Europlus Bhd owns 80 percent of the project, while IJM Corp owns the balance 20 percent.
  • Double-tracking rail project along west coast Malaysia. The project is carried out by as a joint venture between MMC Corp and Gamuda.
  • Various projects from state oil firm Petronas under its 300 billion ringgit capex programme, including a petrochemicals plant in southern Johor state.

* INTERNET ACCESS

  • To carry out second phase of high-speed broadband project with the private sector involving 1.8 billion ringgit investment. State-linked telco Telekom Malaysia Bhd is involved in the project.
  • To increase Internet coverage in rural areas, 1,000 telecommunication transmission towers will be built in the next three years, with an investment of 1.5 billion ringgit.
  • To increase Internet access in Sabah and Sarawak, new underwater cables will be laid within three years at a cost of 850 million ringgit.

Malaysia Budget 2013 Highlights HERE

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