Working together: Chua launching the handbook at the GST seminar organised by the Secretariat for Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs at the Pullman Hotel in Bangsar. Looking on are (from left) SEED steering committee chairman Datuk Ragu Subramaniam, Customs deputy director-general Datuk Zainul Abidin Taib and Customs director-general Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad.
KUALA LUMPUR: More companies have registered to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) over the past few days, bringing the total to 12,500.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said this was an encouraging sign as the numbers stood at about 10,000 just a few days ago.
However, there was still “a big gap” to reach the Government’s target of registering 300,000 businesses by Dec 31, he told reporters after launching the “Handbook for GST for Businesses” here yesterday.
Asked what would happen if the Government failed to reach the targeted 300,000 companies, Chua said: “Don’t be pessimistic.”
“The start was slow but now, with more publicity in the media, more people are stepping up to register.”
He said some businesses still assumed that the Government would postpone the implementation of GST but the fact remained that the GST Act had been gazetted.
“We hope to register the companies so that they can participate in the hand holding programmes by the Government to assist them in implementing GST,” Chua said.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan had been quoted as saying that even if only 100,000 businesses register for GST by the Dec 31 deadline, the 6% tax would still be imposed from April 1 next year as scheduled.
The ministry has also set an internal key performance indicator (KPI) to register 123,000 companies by Sept 30.
Under the GST Act, companies having an annual turnover of RM500,000 and above must register to impose the tax.
On Indian businesses in Malaysia, Chua said 95% of the 38,000 companies were microbusinesses, or earning an annual turnover of less than RM300,000.
He said microbusinesses might be disadvantaged if they do not voluntarily register as big companies preferred dealing with GST-compliant firms.
On the GST handbook, he said it would be translated from English to other languages and uploaded on the Customs Department website.
Customs director-general Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad said the department would embark on more publicity efforts on the GST and place advertisements on major newspapers.