Tony Pua explains 'soda tax' plan, says it's his own idea not govt's

Nor Ain Mohamed Radhi

KUALA LUMPUR: Damansara lawmaker Tony Pua today clarified that the idea to impose 'soda tax' on soft drinks was his personal suggestion and not the government's.

“Just my personal view. I have no power to speak on behalf of the government,” he said.

Pua, who is a special officer to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, was asked to explain whether the 'soda tax' will be implemented by the government.

It was recently reported that the government was considering several measures to cover the shortfall in tax revenue following the removal of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Meanwhile, on another development, Pua said the government will have to recalculate the compensation if it intends to abolish toll as promised in the 14th General Election (GE14).

He said this was due to the compensation amount being not be more than RM400 billion, as announced before.

He said RM400 billion was the amount stated by previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government, after taking into account the compensation to toll concessionaires which also includes future gains.

“If we take over toll concessionaires, to which we have no plan to do so at the moment, we will have to pay compensation as stated in the contracts.

“Which is the cost to built the highways, without taking into account future gains. Therefore, the amount will not reach RM400 billion,” he said when met at the Parliament lobby today.”

On Monday, the government had said that it will not be able to abolish toll as promised in its election manifesto.

Works Minister Baru Bian said it would not be easy to implement the promise due to financial constraints as well as will have to pay compensation of RM400 billion. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd