BASIC necessities will be exempt from being charged with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to ensure that the lower-income group will not be adversely affected, says Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.
He added that if the GST was implemented, basic commodities such as rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil, vegetables and poultry will be categorised as “zero-rated” or fully exempted.
“Consumers will also not be charged extra for services such as healthcare and private education, public transport, tolls and properties.
“This means that the GST will not be imposed at the final part of the services charges chain,” he told Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Zahari (BN-Setiawangsa).
Husni said the Government had made no decision on when to implement the GST or the exact rate of the tax as it was still studying the methods to implement the tax based on the economy and the current goods prices.
“We are studying the matter further due to the volatile economic climate and prices,” he said.
He said over 160 countries had implemented the GST and although there was a slight inflation at the beginning, the Government was committed to ensure that consumer prices remained low.
“The GST will actually replace the current sales and services tax and will be good for the country,” he said.
He also projected that the Government would receive an additional RM6bil revenue if the GST was implemented last year and another RM7bil the year after at the rate of 5%.
“We will continue to engage with the people to change their perception over GST,” he told Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN-Jasin).