KUALA LUMPUR: The Customs Department may be corporatised by January next year, after a delay due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), says Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.
“It’s in the process as we speak. By January 2018, I hope we will have a corporatised Customs Department,” he said at the GST Conference 2017 here today.
On March 13 this year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was reported as saying the corporatisation of the department was the government’s reward for its excellent performance. He also said the staff would enjoy a better service scheme.
Najib hailed the department as the country’s saviour, saying the implementation of the GST had rescued the economy.
Although the GST was harshly criticised, he said, it was a bold step by the government to ensure the well-being of the people.
Meanwhile, Irwan said Malaysia was on track to achieve the fiscal deficit target of 3% for 2017, amid the robust economic growth recorded in the first half of the year.
“Next year, we will go even lower and hopefully one day, have a balanced budget,” he added.
Malaysia’s gross domestic product grew at 5.8 per cent during the second quarter of the year, outperforming market expectations of 5.4 per cent year-on-year. It was mainly supported by private consumption which grew by 3.8 per cent, followed by investments at 1.1 per cent.
The national economy expanded by 5.6 per cent during the first quarter, bringing the average growth to 5.7 per cent for the first half of the year. — Bernama