COME Jan 1 next year, the government will be imposing excise duties on all cars, not only imported cars. However, the quantum of the duties has yet to be determined, said Datuk Kamariah Hussain, the Finance Ministry's head of tax analysis.
We are still working out the quantum and the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) may announce it before the end of the year. We have formulated some sort of duty structure, but it is not finalised, she said.
Participants at the Malaysian Institute of Taxation's (MIT) annual post-budget luncheon talk yesterday seemed to be the most interested and concerned about the motor sector, judging by the number of questions on the sector fielded.
Kamariah, however, was not able to throw more light on the issue as she said many things had yet to be finalised prior to Jan 1 next year, when import duties on vehicles from Asean to Malaysia would be reduced, but excise duties levied instead.
She said that an amendment was being made to the Excise Duty Act so that excise duties could also be levied on imported cars.
Imposing excise duties on imported cars would not violate the spirit of the Asean Free Trade Area, as the duties would apply to all cars, she added.
We won't be having a different excise rate ... so discrimination doesn't apply, Kamariah said, adding that the government needed to do this to safeguard revenue.
She declined to comment on the status of approved permit (AP) licences for the import of cars, pointing out that it was under the purview of Miti.
Kamariah was also queried on the Budget 2004 proposal that a consortium be allowed to undertake the development of marginal oil fields.
We are working on a consortium to complement Petronas, but don't have the details at this point as we are still working on it, she replied.
MIT vice-president Dr Veerinderjeet Singh said the institute hoped that many of the guidelines to clarify Budget 2004's proposals would be out faster than usual.