PUTRAJAYA: The Government has yet to decide if petrol and diesel would be exempted from the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST), said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.
Ahmad was replying to media queries pertaining to a recent Chinese daily report claiming that the Government would be unveiling a new fuel subsidy mechanism that is said to be based on a person’s income and vehicle capacity.
“That is mere speculation. It may happen, it may not happen, so I cannot give you a conclusive statement on this (whether petrol and diesel will be exempted from the GST),” he said after a GST briefing to social media users at the ministry here yesterday.
Items that are on the GST exempt list so far include rice, flour, sugar, salt, cooking oil, baby formula, fresh vegetables and fruits, meat, and the first 300 units (kWh) of electricity for households.
Ahmad said a shoppers’ guide containing the prices of some 1,000 consumer items to be affected by the GST would be released in January.
Ahmad maintained that the GST was a more transparent form of taxation which would replace the existing Sales and Services Tax, and urged the public to lodge complaints with the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry over unreasonable price hikes.
“We cannot release the guide anytime sooner because we do not want businesses to try to speculate on the prices of these goods and raise prices before the GST is implemented,” said Ahmad, who also revealed that there would be 225 items that would be GST-exempt.
Ahmad appeared uncomfortable when pressed for comment on criticisms against two senior Treasury officials who were blamed for allegedly failing to manage public perceptions on the GST.
“Never mind. We did not ask anyone to resign. They (critics) have their right to voice their opinion and I have no comment on this,” he said.