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Second Reading Speech by Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Second Minister for Finance, on The Estate Duty (Amendment) Bill 2002 at The Parliament, 31 Oct 2002

08 Nov 2002

Mr Speaker Sir.

1 In my Budget Speech this year, I announced a series of measures to promote the spirit of philanthropy among our people. One of these measures requires a change in the Estate Duty Act.

2 With effect from 1st January 2002, administrators and families of deceased individuals will be allowed to donate the estate of their next of kin to Institutions of Public Character (IPC for short) and the value of the donation will be exempt from estate duty.

3 Prior to this change, it was possible to apply for exemption from estate duty for such donations on a case-by-case basis. But to make the process less cumbersome and more transparent, donations from estates to IPCs will be exempted automatically as soon as they are made on or after 1st January 2002.

4 The second amendment to the Act is a policy change introduced to encourage more foreigners to hold Singapore dollar denominated assets. A non-domiciled individual who passes away on or after 1st January 2002 will not be subject to estate duty on the value of his movable assets. This is an initiative to improve Singapore's position as an international private banking centre.

5 The last two amendments in this Bill are consequential non-budget related amendments to the Act. First, the term "National Museum" in the Act will be replaced by "Approved Museums" as the "National Museum" is no longer in existence. Secondly, the administrator of the Technopreneur Home Office (THO) Scheme is no longer the National Science and Technology Board but the Economic Development Board.

Mr Speaker, Sir, I beg to move.

31 Oct 2002