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Dewan Negara passes five Bills

Kuala Lumpur – The Dewan Negara today passed five Bills including the Finance Bill 2020, the Customs (Amendment) Bill 2020, and the Excise (Amendment) Bill 2020.

Also passed was the Free Zones (Amendment) Bill 2020 and the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020.

The Finance Bill 2020 and the Temporary Measures Bill for Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020 were tabled by Deputy Finance Minister II Mohd Shahar Abdullah.

Meanwhile, the Customs (Amendment) Bill 2020, Excise (Amendment) Bill 2020, and Free Zones (Amendment) Bill 2020 were tabled by Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Abd Rahim Bakri.

Mohd Sahar said the tabling of the Finance Bill 2020 was for the purpose of amending the Income Tax Act 1967, Real Property Gains Tax Act 1976, Stamp Act 1949, Petroleum (Income Tax) Act 1967, Labuan Business Activity Tax Act 1990, Finance Act 2012 and Finance Act 2018.

He explained that this was necessary to enforce the tax measures tabled in Budget 2021 on Nov 6 and to implement the government’s decision on the improvement of tax administration.

Meanwhile, Abd Rahim said the amendment to the Customs Act 1967, among others, aimed to improve, standardise and update existing provisions, and incorporate new provisions in the Tax Legislation Act to be more transparent and efficient in line with current changes in tax policy.

The amendment was also implemented to empower enforcement actions of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to ensure tax compliance and reduce tax revenue leakages, he said.

The amendment to the Excise Act 1976 is in line with the amendment to the Customs Act 1967.

Amendments to both bills, among others, was to provide for the credibility of agent provocateur and admissibility as evidence in court.

Abd Rahim said the Free Zones (Amendment) Bill 2020 involved amendments to the Free Zones Act 1990.

According to him, it is to provide additional powers to senior Customs officers to carry out enforcement, investigations and inspections similar to police powers under the Criminal Procedure Code.

Mohd Shahar when tabling the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020 said the estimated additional expenditure of the Covid-19 Fund tabled was RM20 billion.

Mohd Shahar said this was to finance the Perbelanjaan Pakej Rangsangan Ekonomi Kita Prihatin and Budget 2021 initiatives under the Covid-19 Fund.

Dewan Negara will resume tomorrow. — Bernama

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