GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce today expressed its satisfaction with the 2020 Budget, following the announcement to reduce the threshold for foreigners to purchase luxury properties.
“The move to lower the threshold in order to allow foreigners to purchase apartments of not less than RM600,000 is appropriate. It will help resolve the housing overhang,” said the chamber’s executive secretary Wang Chai Hui.
In a statement, she also said that the budget is also an improvisation of the Real Property Gain Tax (RPGT) which was introduced last year.
Wang said that the RPGT is now applicable for those who had acquired real estate from Jan 1, 2013 instead of Jan 1, 2000, as it was previously.
The chamber supports the four thrusts anchoring the budget which are; driving growth in the new economy and the digital era; investing in Malaysians: levelling up the human capital; creating an inclusive society, and revitalisating the public institutions and finances.
“The trade tensions between the US and China has thrown the global economy into a state of uncertainty.
“As a trading nation, Malaysia is inevitably affected. On the domestic front, the sources of revenues available to the government especially in terms of taxation are restricted. Obviously the government is facing constraints to explore new revenue,“ she said.
The Finance Ministry in presenting its 2020 Budget yesterday, announced a slew of allowances and concessions in the Budget to help the low medium income (B40) to reduce the costs of living.
The chamber is therefore of the view that this is indeed commendable.
In short, the business community believes that the 2020 Budget is a disciplined way of financial management, said Wang.
However, Wang also expressed concerns on shortfall in development expenditure, which she feels has grown stagnant for a long time, as well as a targeted fuel subsidy scheme which she said is complicated.
“The fuel subsidy fails to take into account the cost of transportation, which will increase the cost of doing business. We are worried that it will cause inflation,“ she added.
Meanwhile, the Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) has expressed its gratitude for the allocation of a new cable car system for the hill here, which is among the top tourist attractions.
A new system can generate more growth in tourism, PHC said in a statement.
Although the new cable car system has been approved, PHC said that it is the technical and feasible study to be done to determine whether the landmark can cope with the additional infrastructure.
Last year, the hill funicular service recorded 1.74 million riders and over the years, it has grown in popularity among foreign and local tourists alike.