Monday 27 May 2024
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on March 24, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The ministry of finance (MoF) announced several measures following the Economic Action Council announcement earlier yesterday, including a tax deduction for donation and contributions made to the Covid-19 Fund and the ministry of health (MoH).

In a statement, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the ministry welcomes the generosity of Malaysians — both individuals and the corporate sector — in contributing and donating towards addressing the outbreak.

“The MoF would like to acknowledge the contributions made by the government-linked companies (GLCs), which to date amounts to RM60 million in the form of medicine, medical equipment and personal protective equipment to the MoH.

“The corporate sector is encouraged to emulate the generosity of GLCs in assisting national efforts to combat the Covid-19 outbreak. In this regard, the MoF has approved a tax deduction for contributions and donations in cash and in kind by individuals and corporates to the Covid-19 Fund and the MoH,” he said.

Last week, the government announced it had set up a Covid-19 Fund, with an initial RM1 million channelled into the fund, to help unemployed Covid-19 patients and those under the 14-day quarantine. The fund is managed by the National Disaster Management Agency.

Meanwhile, the MoF affirmed that there will be an exemption of import duties and sales tax for face masks, as announced by the Customs Department on Sunday, as it took note of the difficulties in obtaining the masks due to the spike in demand. It also advised the public to avoid excessive purchases, to ensure adequate supply for all.

It said the measures that have been implemented to date include service tax exemption for hotels effective March 1, the restructuring and rescheduling of loans by financial institutions for impacted borrowers, and the RM3.3 billion soft loan fund provided by Bank Negara Malaysia to assist small and medium enterprises.

Other key measures which have been planned to take effect on April 1 are on schedule, said the ministry. This includes the proposed deferment of monthly income tax instalments for the tourism industry, the reduction in the Employees Provident Fund employee contribution and the discount on electricity charges.

A total of RM1.7 billion has been disbursed to the relevant ministries and agencies, out of the total allocation of RM3.2 billion under the stimulus package.

Feedback from various stakeholders will be taken, including that of the public, via the official MoF portal at pre2020.treasury.gov.my.

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