Certainly, the announcement of higher broadband speeds at existing prices and plans to reduce prices at double the speeds is long overdue. This is the right step but the government’s decision to not make ICT goods and services GST zero rated is a missed opportunity to really benefit almost all Malaysians.
While allocations of RM1 billion have been made to ensure that broadband speed hits 20 megabytes per second nationwide, we hope the implementation will be swift. We also welcome the increase in facility for public servants to RM5,000 for smartphone purchase once every three years.
The provision of RM2500 lifestyle tax relief for various items including smartphones and tablets and broadband purchase is spot on. PIKOM has been calling for the current relief to be extended to include smartphones and available at a closer interval. This is a welcome move but the amount should be higher considering the typical Malaysian family, especially for urban families. It is a good move all the same and will certainly help the middle income of M40 group.
The focus on ecommerce and startups also bode well for the industry will serve as a catalyst for further growth.
We will continue to emphasise the need for ICT goods and services to be zero rated under GST as a means to help the rakyat.
Today, these are necessities that everyone uses and providing some form of subsidy or relief would have gone a long way in helping the man on the street.
Chin Chee Seong