Reports by ZAZALI MUSA, MANJIT KAUR, RAHIMY RAHIM and CRYSTAL CHIAM SHIYING
KUALA LUMPUR: All relevant ministries and agencies are working to curb any unfair price hikes when the Goods and Services Tax is zero-rated next month, says Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
He said the Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Affair Ministry, the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry and the Customs Department will be moving in tandem.
“The main reason the Pakatan Harapan Government was elected was to ensure that the cost of living remains low.
“We do not want this to be just announcements or rhetorics but most importantly enforcement must be carried out to ensure irresponsible businesses do not take advantage or increase prices as they like,” he told reporters after attending a buka puasa at Masjid Al-Hidayah here.
Separately, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub said the issue was expected to be discussed in the Cabinet on Wednesday.
He also assured consumers there was adequate supply of food for Ramadan and Hari Raya.
Salahuddin said prices at markets, specifically pasar tani (farmer’s markets), should remain reasonable despite higher demand.
“Preparations to ensure sufficient supply of main items like chicken, meat, fish, vegetables and fruits during the festive season have been ongoing for the past three months,” he said in a statement.
Sin Chew Daily also quoted Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Affair Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Jamil Salleh as saying their enforcement teams would start monitoring prices on June 1.
Officers will be out in full force to ensure the 6% GST is not imposed on consumers.
Businesses will also not be allowed to use the excuse of old stock to continue collecting the tax.
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