KUALA LUMPUR, FRI:
These are the highlights of the 2009 Budget being announced by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
* Some 100,000 tax payers to be out of the tax net as rebate for taxable income of RM35,000 and below will be increased to RM400 from RM350
* Tax exemption for all interest income for individuals
* Reduction of import duties for consumer durables (examples: blender, rice cooker, microwave oven and electric kettle) to between 5 percent and 30 percent from 10 percent and 60 percent
* Import duty exemption on several food items including vermicelli, biscuits, fruit juices and canned sweet corn
* Road tax for passenger vehicles with diesel engines to be similar with petrol engines effective Sept 1, 2008
* Tax exemption for employees on staff benefits such as subsidised interest on housing, motor vehicles and education loans
* Bills of mobile and fixed line phones as well as internet paid by employers to be tax-exempted
* Government to provide RM3 billion soft loan facility under public transportation to finance acquisition of buses and rail assets to be administered by bank pembangunan malaysia bhd
* 50 percent reduction in toll charges for all buses, except at border entry points, for two years effective Sept 15, 2008
* Efficiency of public transportation to be improved via rm35 billion expenditure from 2009 to 2014
* Farmers to benefit from proposal to abolish import duty on fertilizers and pesticides
* Home ownership among civil servants to be boosted by extension of housing loans tenure to 30 years from 25 years
* Government housing loan insurance panel to be expanded to all eligible insurance companies from only five insurance companies now
* Excise duties on cigarattes up three sen to 18 sen per stick. Duty for 20-stick pack now up 60 sen
* Highest marginal tax rate for individuals to be cut to 27 percent from 28 percent effective year of assessment 2009
* Middle income group to benefit from cut in marginal tax rate to 12 percent from 13 percent
* Accelerated capital allowance for purchase of ICT equipment can be claimed over one year instead of two years (86).
* Import prohibition on cranes used at ports to be removed. Import duty for the cranes cut to 5 percent from 20 percent (88)
* New investments by operators of four-star & five-star hotels in sabah and Sarawak to enjoy pioneer status with 100 percent income tax exemption or investment tax allowance of 100 percent for five years.
* Venture capital companies to enjoy five-year tax exemption for investing at least 30 percent of their funds in start-up, early stage financing or seed capital
* Local shipping industry to be promoted via a new rm2 billion fund to finance the purchase of ships and upgrading of shipyards.
* Plants and machinery acquired by SMEs in the years of assessment 2009 and 2010 to be accorded accelarated capital allowance to be claimed within one year.
* Local shipping industry to be promoted via a new RM2 billion fund to finance the purchase of ships and upgrading of shipyards
* Plants and machinery acquired by smes in the years of assessment 2009 and 2010 to be accorded accelerated capital allowance to be claimed within one year.
* Removed - import duty and sales tax on solar photovoltaic system equipment
* Removed - import duty and sales tax on intermediate goods such as high efficiency motors and insulation materials
* Removed - sales tax on locally manufactured solar heating system equipment
* Removed - sales tax on locally manufactured energy efficient consumer goods such as refrigerators, air conditioners, lightings, fans and tvs
* Exemption of 100 percent import duty & 50 percent excise duty on new hybrid CBU cars, with engine capacity below two 2,000 cc litre to be given to franchise importers. The exemption is for two years
* One month bonus for civil servants, subject to a minimum of RM1,000. Payment in two instalments - September and December 2008