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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Call for GST waiver with FT welfare card

If it's meant to help the poor, they shouldn't have to worry about tax, says MP.
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PETALING JAYA: Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng has proposed a GST waiver on purchases made with the rebranded welfare card to be launched by the Federal Territories Ministry next month.
Speaking to FMT, he said those deserving of the card should not have to worry about tax.
The card entitles the holder to discounts on essential goods.
“If the ministry is serious about reducing the financial burden of the disabled, senior citizens and the jobless, then the items purchased on discount should be GST exempt,” Lim said.
“Otherwise, the Kad Ceria Wilayah project is nothing but another pre-election campaign gimmick.”
Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor recently announced that the rebranded discount card for city folk would replace the Kad Komuniti Ceria, which was launched on February 2015. He said the earlier card was not working well.
Lim said he’d like to know how much the scheme would cost.
There was a need to check whether any lopsided concession agreements had been struck in the process of relaunching the card, he added.
“The ministry will have to explain if it will cost taxpayers a ridiculous amount of money to pay contractors and administration fees to keep the system running.”
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar also called for a GST waiver on purchases made with the card and the disclosure of costs incurred in the rebranding.
“The public has a right to proper disclosure and the focus should be on the welfare of the people,” she said. “Who will be chosen for the project?”
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said she did not believe the card would solve the problem of urban poverty.
“The ministry can propose whatever discount card for the people, but it will not help resolve the problem of poverty among the urban poor,” she said.
She speculated that it would be difficult to make sure that the card was issued only to those who were eligible.
“I believe many will apply for it and it will be abused,” she said.
She also said the cost of rebranding the card was a matter of public interest.
“I believe the funds for the project should come from City Hall, but it has to be made public,” she added. -FMT

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