Ex-PM is dishonest, says Lim

Hashini Kavishtri Kannan

PUTRAJAYA: Former Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was dishonest in accusing the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government of misusing RM42.2 billion when he left the government with only RM450 million on April 30.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Najib had continued to harp on the Consolidated Fund of the Federal Government of RM42.2 billion as of Dec 31, 2017, but failed to mention that out of this amount only RM11.86 billion was in the Consolidated Revenue Account.

Payments and transfer of government money could only be made or used from the Consolidated Revenue Account and only the sum of RM11.86 billion in the Consolidated Revenue Account was actually available for transfer to the GST and Tax Refund Trust Account, Lim said.

“However, this RM11.86 billion available was not transferred to the Tax Refund Trust Account. The total outstanding GST and Tax refunds as of May 31, 2018 as announced earlier was RM35.4 billion,” he said in a statement.

The Federal Government policy, Lim said, required all collections received to be kept in a common pool of funds which was known as Consolidated Fund.

However, he said, the amounts kept in the Consolidated Fund actually belonged to three different accounts maintained by the Accountant General, which were Consolidated Revenue Account, Consolidated Loan Account and Consolidated Trust Account.

“Najib must understand that only the amount held in Consolidated Revenue Account can be used for GST and Tax Refund purposes.

“When the Pakatan Harapan Government took over the administration of the federal government on May 9, 2018, the latest position in the unaudited Consolidated Fund as of 30 April 2018 was RM35.5 billion and out of this amount only RM450 million was sitting in the unaudited Consolidated Revenue Account.

“In other words, the available balance of RM11.86 billion as of 31 Dec 2017 in the Consolidated Revenue Account had deteriorated to only RM450 million as of 30 April 2018,” he said.

“This shows the Consolidated Revenue Account had deteriorated substantially by RM11.41 billion in just over four months.

“Najib should explain this drastic drop of RM11.41 billion or 96 per cent in the Consolidated Revenue Account.

“And yet he dishonestly accused the PH government of misusing RM42.2 billion he claimed that Barisan Nasional left to Pakatan Harapan on Dec 31 when he had actually left us with only RM450 million on April 30, 2018.”

Despite the tax holiday period which took effect on June 1, 2018, the unaudited Consolidated Fund position of the Federal Government had improved to RM59.90 billion as of July 31, said the minister.

At the same time, Lim said, the unaudited Consolidated Revenue Account balance had also recorded a higher balance of RM3.81 billion from RM450 million as of April 30, 2018.

“This increase in unaudited Consolidated Revenue Account to RM3.81 billion on July 31, 2018 is an improvement of 8.5 times by Harapan as compared to BN as of April 30, 2018,” he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd