ALOR SETAR, Kedah state, The government is prepared to review the list of goods under the Sales and Services Tax (SST) to ascertain the need to exempt any product from the tax or reduce the tax rate.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said even though the list of goods had been finalised, in principle, however there were situations where the SST exemption needed to be made after getting feedback from industry players through visits and checks carried out by the ministry.
“We will see the need at first, because a review (of goods list under SST) and reducing (SST rate) means lower revenue for the government, hence the government must be prudent and thorough.
“Any item that the government wants to exempt (SST), it must calculate first, for example, reducing tax to five per cent, will cause a loss (in revenue) by how much…this is the focus of the finance ministry,” he said after conducting an SST check at the Perodua service centre here yesterday.
To-date, a total of 5,443 items are exempted from the SST compared with about 500 during the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, while 5,612 goods are subject to a 10 per cent sales tax and more than 600 goods are subject to a sales tax of 5.0 per cent.
Nevertheless, after the tax rate have been reduced or tax exemption given, he hoped the related parties would reduce the prices of the goods as the production cost would have been reduced.
Towards that end, Saifuddin said currently, he will spend less time in the office and focus more on activities on the ground to meet traders, manufacturers and industry players to understand the constraints and problems faced by them.
Commenting on the announcement made by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on the SST exemption for plastic bags for rice, he said he would discuss with Lim to see if there was a need to exempt SST for food producers who also used the same materials.
Since the (SST) implementation is still at the early stage, I see the finance ministry is quite flexible in making a decision on any item that can be exempted,” said Saifuddin who welcomed the decision.
Since the implementation of an enforcement operation codenamed Op Catut 5.0 from Aug 8 till Sept 3, 3,084 business premises had been inspected, namely 147 manufacturing premises, importers (15), distributors (34), wholesalers (223), as well as retailers (2,665 premises), involving total goods of 88,298.
A total of 434 notices had been issued under Section 21(2) of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act (AKHAP) 2011, as well as 387 notices under Section 53(a) of AKHAP 2011.
Source: NAM News Network