Excise duties reduction will depend on NAP review: Darell Leiking

Hidir Reduan

KUALA LUMPUR: Any plan to continue the excise duty reduction for imported cars will depend on the review of National Automotive Policy (NAP), Dewan Rakyat was told today.

International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking said the outcome of the NAP review was important in determining the need to maintain such excise duties, in the event that the third national car project was launched.

He said outcome of the NAP review will be unveiled at the year end.

“Whether we will review the reduction in excise duty for imported cars depend on the review, as well as agreement with the Finance Ministry,” he said.

He was answering a question from Datuk Rozman Isli (BN-Labuan) at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Rozman asked whether the reduction in excise duties for imported cars would be continued if the third national car project materialised.

Darell said excise duties are imposed on imported cars in the first category with engine capacity of below 1,600cc, in order to ensure that car manufacturers utilise locally-sourced components, among others.

He said the incentive is to encourage Malaysian car vehicle component companies to adopt the latest technology from vehicle importers so that the cost of vehicle production could be reduced.

In response to a supplementary question from Rozman over the third national car project being developed by the private sector, Darell said the government was open to suggestions, which included collaboration with other countries and international car manufacturers.

“The third national car project is still in the proposal stage and we are consistent (in our stance) that the project will not use government funds. On the contrary, it will be through private sector incentive,” he said.

In response to another supplementary question from Ahmad Amzad Mohamed Hashim (Pas - Kuala Terengganu), Darell said the government was ready to look into the proposal for the third national car project to be carried out in the East Coast states, Sabah and Sarawak.

Ahmad Amzad wanted to know whether the project would be based in the East Coast states to boost development in the region.

Darell said the suggestion would be incorporated into the overall national car project study.

“As a minister from Sabah, the suggestion is a good one so that East Coast states, Sabah and Sarawak can benefit from the proposed project.

“I also wish for this matter to be looked into and will issue a supporting letter for the suggestion to be accepted in the event the third national car project is implemented,” he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd