KUALA LUMPUR – After being proved wrong by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng claimed that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was not being transferred directly to the GST Refunds fund and that caused the delay of refunds for more than a year.
The GST Act and Regulation clearly stated that the GST refunds must be banked in directly into the GST Refunds fund so that the refunds can be made within 14 days after the GST Statement (GST-03) is filed electronically.
In a statement today, the Finance Minister said that the money intended for GST refunds were being kept in the Consolidated Funds Accounts and were used for other purposes by the previous government.
The late GST refunds had caused the tax payers to suffer financial difficulties.
The outstanding RM19.4 billion of GST refunds involving 121,429 companies was made known to the Dewan Rakyat last August.
Yesterday the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) announced that the allegedly ‘robbed’ RM19.4 billion of GST refunds money was never missing.
Elaborating further, Guan Eng said that the PAC has confirmed several non-compliance in GST refunds.
According to him, it was obvious that the GST Act was breached as what was informed by the Attorney-General to PAC. He said, the practice of putting funds into the consolidated account instead of the refunds account is not in line with the provisions under Setion 54(2) and Section 54(5) of the GST Act 2014.
“Only a part of the GST collection (approximately 35% from the total GST collection) was put into the GST Refunds account.
“The PAC summary showed that the previous government had used the GST collections for other purposes, thus, causing the shortage of funds amounting to RM19.25 billion.
“As of 31 May 2019, the GST Refunds account only had RM15 million. As stated by the Accountant-General’s Department in the PAC report, the RM19.4 billion should be used for the refunds. However, it was used to pay for the administration and development instead,” he said.
The PAC had proposed for two measures to be taken. The administration of the government must ensure full compliance to the national law, especially in managing finance so that it will be more organised and accountable.
The government officers entrusted to advise the government about law, procedures need not have fear or favouritism, especially in implementing the cashflow plan and financial discipline so that it is more accountable.
“The Ministry of Finance respects these recommendations by PAC to ensure that all non-compliance practiced by the previous government in managing the GST refunds will not repeat itself,” Guan Eng said. -MalaysiaGazette