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Friday, September 28, 2012

Najib gives more BR1M, goodies for civil servants and youths


Najib shares a light moment as he arrives to deliver the Budget 2013 at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur September 28, 2012.—Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 ― Datuk Seri Najib Razak offered a slew of goodies in Budget 2013 today, spending RM3 billion on cash handouts to families earning below RM3,000 monthly and a 1.5-month bonus for the 1.4 million-strong civil service in what is seen as an election budget before polls that must be held by mid-2013.
The prime minister and finance minister also gave a RM250 handout to unmarried citizens above 21 years old and earning less than RM2,000 ― the bulk of the three million new voters set to vote in the next general election.
Schoolchildren will also get RM100 each from Putrajaya next year, while RM1.2 billion has been allocated for senior citizens, children, disabled workers and those with chronic illnesses under the 1 Malaysia Welfare Programme.
Najib also cut one percentage point in income tax for the first RM50,000 of chargeable income, providing minor relief to the 1.2 million taxpayers in the country of 28 million.
But the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government cut sugar subsidy by 20 sen/kg, leaving the subsidy now at 34 sen/kg, bringing down the sugar subsidy bill to RM278 million at current prices.
The government will also spend RM1.9 billion to build 123,000 housing units for those earning between RM3,000 and RM5,000.
Among some of the other notable government spending plans are:
• RM500 million for the River of Life project to rejuvenate Klang River
• RM9 billion for Mass Rapid Transit contracts
• RM200 million for the “Halal” Industry Fund
• RM1 billion for Bumiputera small and medium industries (SMEs)
• Minimum pension for those with at least 25 years’ service to be raised from RM720 to RM820.
• RM38.7 billion to improve quality of education in the country, with an additional RM500 million to train teachers in the core subjects of English, Bahasa Malaysia, Science and Maths.
• Tax-free incentives and grants for the setting up of new nurseries and kindergartens.
• RM1.2 billion for pre-school development.
• RM1 billion to upgrade schools: RM400 million for national schools, and RM100 million each for Chinese, Tamil, mission, religious, boarding schools and MRSM
• “My First Home Scheme” income limit for individual loans increased from RM3,000 to RM5,000 per month, and up to RM10,000 for joint loans of married couples.
• Limit for stamp duty exemption for houses raised from RM350,000 to RM400,000. Exemption is also extended to December 2014.
• Real property gains tax increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent for properties sold within two years of purchase, and from 5 per cent to 10 per cent for properties sold between two and five years.
• Value of 1 Malaysia Book Voucher for students increased from RM200 to RM250.
• Tax relief for higher education up from RM4,000 to RM6,000.
• Tax relief for the National Education Savings Scheme doubled, from RM3,000 to RM6,000.
• Twenty per cent discount on full settlements of National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans between October 1 2012 and September 30, 2013.
• Ten per cent discount on regular repayments of PTPTN loan instalments.
• FELDA to build 20,000 units of housing costing RM1.5 billion on 5,000 acres of FELDA land.

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