Govt willing to review SST list, add tax-exempted items

Suzalina Halid

ALOR SETAR: The government is willing to review the list of items under the Sales and Service Tax (SST). Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said this would include adding more products in the list of exempted items. He said the government was prepared to amend the existing list, but it should be done with due diligence as any deduction or exemption would lead to loss of revenue. “We are willing to review (the list) when a need arises, but any reduction would mean the government would lose revenue, so we must scrutinise and carry out calculation on SST on certain items if it reduced to five per cent, for instance. How much loss (in tax collection) would be incurred? “I think it is an ongoing process should there is a pressing need (to review the tax rates). For example, retread tyres were previously taxed at 10 per cent, but it was reduced to five per cent following feedbacks from the industry,” he told a Press conference after visiting an automotive sales and service centre here today. Saifuddin said the ministry was of the view that the Finance Ministry would b flexible in improving on the products listed under SST and that the current list was not ‘rigid’ in nature. He said despite having the SST list finalised, the ministries were willing to going to the ground and listen to public views if there was a need for adjustment. Saifuddin said he would discuss with Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on whether plastic bags produced by food manufacturers, apart from rice producers, should also be listed as SST-exempted items. He said since the implementation of SST on Sept 1, a total of 211 notices were issued to business premises nationwide comprised manufactures, importers, retailers and distributors under Op Catut 5.0 for various offences under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011. He said 152 notices were issued under Section 53A of the act for failure of keeping records and business documents, while 59 others issued under Section 21 to premises owners who had failed to furnish transaction information and bills of their businesses. “The notices were issued by the ministry’s enforcement team that had carried out nationwide checks on 6,228 business premises during the 10-day period since Sept 1, ” he said.


Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the government was prepared to amend the existing list, but it should be done with due diligence as any deduction or exemption would lead to loss of revenue. (BERNAMA)

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