THE inflation rate for the country now stands at about 2%, some 18 months after the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said the inflation rate was higher at 3.435% when the GST was first introduced in 2015.
“However, today we see our inflation rate has reached about 2%,” he said to a question by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS-Marang).
Abdul Hadi had asked whether there was an alternative to the GST, which had helped prevent tax evasion amongst traders but had caused the inflation rate to rise.
Johari said the prices of goods did increase when GST was first introduced but it was due to the migration from the old sales and services tax (SST) system to GST.
“Many of the traders who did not pay SST felt their profit margin decreased once GST came into place. They thus increased their prices to cover for the GST,” he said.
To date, Johari said the GST earned the Government RM29.3bil.
Earlier, during Question Time, Johari said the highest number of recipients for 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) for 2014 to 2016 was in Selangor, followed by Johor and Sarawak.
He said in 2014, there were 8.1 million BR1M applicants nationwide but only 6.959 million were approved.
“In 2015, 8.259 million applied and only 7.437 million were approved, while this year, we had 8.3 million applicants and only 7.28 million were approved,” he said in response to Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Lembah Pantai).