(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): The Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should explain why six months after his announcement, the lifting of the RM100,000 levy on property purchased by foreigners has not been gazetted.
As a result, the government decision on the lifting of the RM100,000 levy on property worth RM250,000 and above purchased by foreigners, though announced by Anwar on August 27 last year, has not been implemented in most states and districts. Land offices are insisting on the payment of the levy in the absence of the gazette notification.
It does not speak well for the efficiency of the government that six months after the announcement of the lifting of the levy, it has not been gazetted for it to be implemented at the state and district levels. Is the inordinate delay to gazette and implement the decision indication that the government has changed its mind on the matter and wants the levy to be retained?
The Government should have taken special pains to ensure that government cutbacks in expenditures in the austerity drive in the face of the economic crisis would not result in any drop in efficiency or productivity, and a six-month delay in the gazette notification of the lifting of the RM100,000 levy is sending a wrong message to all government departments and agencies.
The Government should set up a special task force to ensure that the austerity drive and cutbacks in government expenditures would not be used as excuses for any drop in government efficiency, productivity or service and a Austerity and Productivity Committee should be set up in every state, involving participation by both the government and non-government sectors, to monitor government austerity measures as well as government efficiency, productivity and standard of public service.