CYBERJAYA: It will be impossible to bring down prices of prepaid reloads to pre-GST (Goods and Service Tax) levels immediately, due to the huge logistics involved in implementing the change, said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
For now, prices of RM10 prepaid reloads will remain at RM10.60, with 6% GST applied, clarified MCMC chairman Datuk Sri Dr Halim Shafie (pic).
In a press statement released Wednesday, Dr Halim said it will be difficult to go back to pre-GST prices due to the complexities in reconfiguring the systems, by both service providers and third-party agents.
He said the cost of doing this would be significant for all parties involved, and new stocks of prepaid cards had to be produced and distributed nationwide.
"As we stated on April 3, 2015, a survey will be conducted by communications providers to assess if customers prefer lower reload values on which GST will be charged," he said.
The survey will determine if users prefer to pay RM10.60 (with 6% GST) for a RM10 reload or to pay a flat RM10 for a RM9.43 reload, plus 6% GST added.
"As all the relevant parties had previously agreed to wait until the survey is completed, MCMC urges that any further decision on this matter be made only after considering the survey results as well as the technical and financial implications.
Dr Halim said the survey was almost completed and results would be presented to the relevant authorities next week.
"The Royal Customs and Excise Department was agreeable to this survey being carried out before any further decisions are made.
"However, there has been some confusion in the market as to whether prepaid reloads will be back to pre-GST rates from May 1.
"Unfortunately, it will be almost impossible for the service providers to implement the required changes in the next two days," said Dr Halim.
On Wednesday, Customs director-general Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad said telcos had been informed to revert to the rates before the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on April 1.
Initially, the Government had announced that prices of reload cards would be maintained after the GST, as it would replace the Sales and Services Tax (SST), which is also rated at 6%.
Prepaid reloads back to pre-GST rates from May 1