PUTRAJAYA: A total of seventy-five per cent out of the 17,574 shops and restaurants which were previously subjected to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), will not impose Sales and Services Tax (SST) on their customers. This was following the increase of the threshold value for the sales and services tax (SST) to RM1.5 million from RM500,000, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. This also means, he said, only restaurants with annual threshold exceeding RM1.5 million would impose SST of six per cent to their customers. He said the threshold value fixed for the SST, is three times higher than GST. “Under the GST system, there were 17,574 restaurants that had registered their businesses. “However, after the government raised the SST annual turnover threshold to RM1.5 million from RM500,000, a total of 4,372 restaurants had registered their businesses,” he said in a statement earlier. Lim said the impact from the SST is far lower than the GST, where only 25 per cent of restaurants and cafes were subjected to the SST. Lambasting former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, he said there was also six per cent tax for food and beverages under the GST system. “Najib should not act innocent because he was the finance minister since 2008, even before the implementation of GST on April 1, 2015 , six per cent SST was imposed as services tax for cafes and restaurants. “The difference now is that under the SST, only restaurants with income over RM1.5 million a year are subjected to the six per cent service tax on consumers,” he said. Lim added that the SST also saw consumers enjoying lower car prices where at least five brands, namely Perodua, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW, have seen their prices lower by RM2,000 to RM3,000. Apart from that, he also said that the Real Estate & Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia, Penang Branch (Rehda Penang) has welcomed the government’s move to exempt the SST on construction material. He added Rehda is ready to reduce housing prices by up to 10 per cent for units priced above RM300,000 each, while offering a six per cent discount for affordable houses priced below RM300,000. “The government welcomes any decision from developers to reduce home prices, in line with the SST exemption. I will meet with Rehda Malaysia to discuss whether the approach taken in Penang can be applied to the whole country. “At the same time, the government is always committed to ensuring prices of goods are under control during the implementation of the SST, which has now been refined,” he added.
The Finance Ministry, in collaboration with the Customs Department as well as Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry would continue to conduct anti-profiteering campaign as there are businesses which are taking advantage to increase their prices, he said. “The government urges cooperation from the public to share information relating to unreasonable price hikes,” he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd