KUALA LUMPUR: JT International Bhd (JTI Malaysia) today announced that there would be an increase in cigarettes prices for all the brands it distributes in Malaysia following the introduction of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) effective Sept 1.
“The introduction of the sales tax at 10 per cent for tobacco products in Malaysia translates to a price increase for all our cigarettes brands, taking into account the incremental rate differential from the previous Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate levied on cigarettes,” Managing Director of JTI Malaysia, Cormac O’Rourke said.
He said cigarette prices had not been revised post-June 2018 zero rating of the GST following directives from the Ministries of Finance and Health.
O’Rourke said the company was disappointed that the government had not reverted to the five per cent sales tax imposed from before the GST’s introduction and the upcoming tax-led price increase which will take effect following all necessary regulatory approvals, will have a negative impact in widening the price gap between legal and illegal cigarettes.
“We believe that this will worsen the illegal cigarette trade situation which is already at a critical level of 58 per cent and will cause more consumers to switch to cheap illegal cigarettes.
“Therefore, we urge the government to improve enforcement efforts at addressing the illegal cigarette trade situation,” he added. -- Bernama © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd