PAC: No GST Refunds Missing, but Laws Not Followed

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No money is missing from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds, says the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

In a statement on Monday (July 15), PAC chairman Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad said that the GST refunds were used for government expenditure instead.

“The previous government had overestimated the net GST collection at a rate of 65% from the actual GST collection,” she said.

She added that the Barisan Nasional government had collected the money and kept it in the consolidated revenue account and then transferred it stage by stage as decided by the GST refund repayment committee when it was needed.

However, Noraini said this was not in line with Section 54(2) of the GST Act 2014.

She added that the policy to transfer 35% from the total GST collection every year from the Consolidated Fund to the Federal Consolidated Fund when it is needed was not enough to cover the requests for GST refunds.

“Based on the statements during the proceedings, the PAC feels that the rate should be set to at least 42%,” said Noraini.

The PAC investigation began after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told Parliament last August that RM19.4 billion in GST refunds had been delayed and suggested that the money had been “robbed”.

Azlan Zamhari/Malaysiakini

Following this, the federal government sought a special dividend of RM30 billion from Petronas to pay for the refunds.