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Federal Govt Debt Still Manageable: Najib

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KUALA KANGSAR: The Federal government debt is manageable and far smaller than that of developed countries like the US and Japan, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“The sovereign debt of the US, Japan and Singapore is far bigger when compared with their per capita income,” he said on Friday.

Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said on Tuesday that as at end-2015, the Federal government debt, comprising domestic and offshore debt, stood at RM630.5 billion or 54.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, called on the people not to be swayed by claims by certain quarters that the country was riddled with huge debts.

“Listen to and apply what the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund has reported. They all say the country’s economy, under Barisan Nasional rule, has developed well,” said Najib when presenting RM500 each to smallholders and rubber tappers here today.

The government will pay out RM194 million this year to 388,111 smallholders and rubber tappers affected by flagging natural rubber prices.

He also said because of prudent management, the government was able to provide the people various financial assistance despite the sluggish global growth.

He cited the example of the Goods and Services Tax which had proven to have benefitted the people including the RM500 special financial assistance for 1.6 million civil servants in view of Aidilfitri, to be given on June 13.

“We were able to fulfill the request by the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services to pay a special bonus for Hari Raya. If we did not collect the GST, how will the government make this payment?” he asked.

Najib also said the GST was not to burden the people but it was for the country’s good.

“When the revenue is good, we will return it to the people.” he added.

GST was implemented in Malaysia on April 1, 2015 at a rate of six per cent and it replaced the Sales and Service Tax. – Bernama

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