KUALA LUMPUR: The Goods and Services Tax Bill is in the final stage of being drafted and expected to be tabled at the next Dewan Rakyat sitting from March 10.
The Bill would have to be tabled this year for it to be ready for GST implementation on April 1 next year, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.
He said the draft was being reviewed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
“We hope to table it in the coming Parliament meeting,’’ he told reporters at a national forum on the GST here yesterday.
On another matter, Ahmad said a special RM300 aid under the BR1M programme would be announced later this year for households earning RM4,000 and less to provide relief from the GST burden.
Added to the regular BR1M, if it is maintained at RM700, the total handout would be RM1,000, he said.
During the Budget 2014 announcement last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the GST would be imposed at the rate of 6% on selected goods and services.
The GST will replace the current consumption tax, which consists of a sales tax of 10% and 5% service tax.
At the forum, the Federation of Malaysian Consumers’ Associations (Fomca) expressed its concern on the lack of communication and engagement between the authorities and the people on the GST.
Fomca CEO Datuk Paul Selvaraj said consumers feared the GST would burden them as many of them were currently exempted from income tax and they wanted effective mechanisms to bring up their issues.
He said the Government needed to build confidence on the GST as consumers wanted the funds collected to be well-spent and their quality of life improved.
Giving the British view, HM Revenue and Customs senior VAT (Value-Added Tax) policy manager Andrew Webb said the government discussed with people from various industries and groups on the VAT system (similar to the GST) before it was introduced in Britain in 1973.
Webb said it spent a lot of time through various ways to communicate with individual taxpayers and taxpayers’ organisations to build trust and understanding.
He said they published the draft law for people to see and consult on it for a period of time before it was passed in Parliament.