2010 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS
KUALA LUMPUR, Fri: Following are the highlights of the 2010 Budget, themed "1Malaysia, Together We Prosper":
1. An allocation of RM191.5 billion, consisting of RM138.3 billion or 72.2 per cent (operating expenditure) and RM53.2 billion or 27.8 per cent (development expenditure).
2. Special payment of RM500 in December 2009 to civil servants from Grade 41 to Grade 54 or its equivalent as well as those on mandatory retirement.
3. Enhancement of tax incentives for healthcare service providers who offer services to foreign health tourists. Income tax exemption of 50 per cent on the value of increased exports will be increased to 100 per cent.
4. Individual taxpayers will be given tax relief on broadband subscription fee up to RM500 a year from 2010 to 2012.
5. Civil servants are eligible to apply for computer loans once in every three years as compared to once in every five years now.
6. Subsidies, incentives and assistance amounting to almost RM2 billion to safeguard the interest of farmers and fishermen.
7. An allocation of RM9 billion to finance infrastructure projects, including construction of roads and bridges, water supply, sewerage services, rail facilities, ports and sea services as well as airport projects.
8. An additional allocation of RM20 million for small-scale Malaysian-Indian entrepreneurs under the Tabung Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (Tekun), on top of the existing RM15-million allocation.
9. Establishing a RM200-million Creative Industry Fund to finance activities, such as film and drama productions, music, animation, advertisements and local content development. Establishing "Tabung Kebajikan Penggiat Seni" to ensure the welfare of artistes.
10. An allocation of RM20 million for 20 schools to be identified as High Performance Schools (SBT) in 2010.
11. Awarding national scholarships to 30 "creme de la creme" students strictly based on merit. These scholarship recipients will further their education in world-renowned universities.
12. Converting the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans to scholarships for students who graduate with first class honours degrees or equivalent beginning 2010.
13. Providing a 50 per cent discount on fares for long-distance services of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) to students aged 13 and above beginning Jan 1, 2010.
14. Offering a netbook package, including free broadband service, to 100,000 local university students for a start for RM50 per month for two years, effective Jan 1, 2010.
15. An allocation of RM100 million for the PERMATA Programme to implement various programmes which emphasise early childcare and education in an integrated and organised manner.
16. Micro insurance and Takaful coverage for small-scale businessmen which will benefit from coverage ranging from RM10,000 to RM20,000 with premium as low as RM20 per month.
17. Establishment of 14 Special Corruption Sessions Courts and four Special Corruption Appeal High Courts.
18. Imposing RM50 service tax on each principal credit card and charge card, including those issued free of charge, and a service tax of RM25 a year on each supplementary card effective Jan 1, 2010.
19. All ministries and government departments are required to provide day care and education centres for children. For this, an allocation of RNM200,000 will be made available for every ministry and government department to establish day care centres.
20. Reduction of the maximum individual income tax rate from 27 percent to 26 percent, effective from the year of assessment 2010.
21. Personal relief for individual tax payers to increase from RM8,000 to RM9,000 effective from the year of assessment 2010. This means that each individual tax payer will enjoy an increase of RM1,000 in disposable income.
22. About 50,000 hardcore poor households registered with eKasih and 4,000 Orang Asli households will be given assistance to achieve the target of zero hardcore poverty in 2010. An allocation of RM41 million will be provided to improve the income and quality of life of the Orang Asli community.
23. An allocation of RM48 million to implement urban poverty eradication programmes, including welfare assistance and house rental payments. The Ministry of Federal Territories shall now be known as the Ministry of Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing.
24. The National Housing Department to provide 74,000 low-cost houses to be rented in 2010.
25. EPF to launch a scheme that enables contributors to utilise current and future savings in Account 2 to enable them to obtain higher financing to buy higher value or additional houses.
26. An allocation of RM224 million to the disabled for the implementation of the Rehabilitation In The Community Programme and an allocation of RM174 million for senior citizens, including assistance as well as the construction and upgrading of two Rumah Seri Kenangan.
27. Increasing the allowance rate from RM50 to RM150 a month for every disabled child enrolled in NGO-organised special schools effective Jan 1, 2010.
28. Establishment of 1Malaysia Retirement Scheme for the self-employed, such as taxi drivers, hawkers, farmers and fishermen, to be administered by the EPF.
29. Effective immediately, employees' EPF contribution will revert to 11 per cent on a voluntary basis.
30. Construction of 510 km of rural roads and 316 km of village roads with an allocation of RM857 million, including roads to be constructed in Kapit, Lawas and Simunjan in Sarawak as well as Kinabatangan, Kota Belud and Keningau in Sabah. -- BERNAMA