TELUK INTAN - Tamil schools and Sekolah Agama Rakyat will be able to seek exemptions from the Goods and Services Tax for their redevelopment projects.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said that last year, only Chinese independent schools and Chinese conforming schools relying on their own funds and public donations could apply for the exemption.
"The Finance Ministry and the Customs Department had met and discussed the applications from the Chinese schools.
"In allowing the Chinese schools to apply for the exemption, it was also decided that Tamil schools and SAR should similarly be granted exemptions.
"The move is to help lessen the burden of Tamil and Agama schools and also to support education," Chua told reporters yesterday after presenting the GST exemption letter for SM Sam Min (Suwa) to the school's representatives.
SM San Min, which was granted a RM210,000 (S$69,000) exemption for the construction of its new dormitory block costing RM3.5mil, is among four schools whose applications for exemption totalling RM1.443mil were approved last year.
The other schools are SMJK Sacred Heart (RM414,000) and SRJK (C) Yang Cheng (RM520,800), both in Penang; and SRJK (C) Kuen Cheng (1), which received RM298,681.30 in exemption.
Chua added that the ministry had so far this year received three new applications, including one from a Tamil school.
On the recalibration of Budget 2016, Chua urged the people not to speculate.
"People are saying all sort of things, including claims that the GST will go up.
"We should be looking at it positively that the Government is being responsive and not waiting until the last minute to re-look at the Budget in the midst of a volatile global economy," he said.