JOHOR BARU - The government is planning to reduce "black economy" activities to 15 per cent and place Malaysia on a par with other developed countries.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said such activities stood at 30 per cent, which cost the government billions in lost revenue.
"We want to reduce the level to 15 per cent, which is the average in developed countries.
"The reduction would also mean that the government would gain billions in revenue, which would otherwise be lost."
"Black economy" referred to smuggling, tax evasion and under-declaration of tax, among others.
Ahmad said to reduce these activities, the government planned to improve existing enforcement and enhance knowledge and skills of officers in the relevant departments and agencies.
"We have also installed new equipments like X-ray machines at our entry points to prevent smuggling and to deter people from hiding goods that they are bringing into the country.
"When it comes to cheating, people are very creative, so we need to be equally creative.
"The implementation of new technology, like the e-Filing system by the Inland Revenue Board, and the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) will also help in reducing these activities."
Ahmad said this after visiting the Johor Royal Customs Department headquarters here yesterday.
Present was state Customs director Datuk Ramli Johari.
Ahmad said Customs was on track to meet the revenue collection target of RM34.43 billion (S$13.3 billion) this year.
"As of Sept 26, the department has collected RM24.33 billion in revenue compared with RM23.65 billion collected in the corresponding period of last year."
He said last year, the department collected RM32.32 billion in revenue.
Ahmad said between January and last month, the department recorded 4,145 cases, resulting in the seizure of goods worth RM287 million, involving taxes worth RM219 million.