KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng directed Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the Customs Department’s statement on the RM19.4 billion shortfall for tax refunds after the latter continued to insist the money was not missing.
Lim pointed out that the department stated clearly that the amount was not made available despite its requests to the previous Barisan Nasional government.
The minister has accused BN of “robbing” businesses of the sum as the amount was missing from the government’s trust account from which Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds were meant to be paid.
“How can the statement be turned around to say PH (Pakatan Harapan) had used the money? Can’t even read a simple press statement.
“This shows that Umno leaders have lost any credibility they have,” he told reporters at a press conference at the DAP headquarters, here, today.
Najib and Umno leaders blame the PH for the missing funds, claiming that the move to zero-rate the GST was responsible for the gap.
The Bagan MP said Najib’s latest statement on the matter was simply an attempt to blame the new government for previous abuses.
“This is again another lie by BN. Are you living in a bubble and cannot understand a simple statement?” he asked.
On Friday, Najib claimed that revenue foregone in the current tax holiday was the reason for the shortfall.
Lim previously said the input tax credits were booked directly as revenue by the previous BN administration and included directly in the consolidated fund for immediate spending instead of being held in the trust account for future refunds.
The minister also noted that revenue foregone from zero rating the GST was less than the missing sum.