KUALA LUMPUR: The prices of 70% of goods surveyed have gone down since the implementation of the Sales and Service Tax (SST) on Sept 1, says Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister Chong Chieng Jen.
"An analysis of price changes was done, comparing average prices between May and September this year. On the whole, 70% or the prices of 291 items was reduced, while 27% or 115 items saw prices increasing and three percent or 11 of items saw no changes in prices," he said when answering a question raised by Datuk Alexander Nanta (PBB-Kapit) in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Oct 17) .
He said the price survey was done on a total of 417 household items covering fresh produce, dried and packed foodstuff, as well as infant food and products.
Chong said the prices for the 291 goods were reduced by an average of between 0.11% and 37.61%.
He added that prices of the 115 items increased by an average of between 0.09% and 41.65%.
Chong informed the House that 146 notices were issued to traders that were suspected of profiteering, of which about 100 had flouted regulations.
On that note, a brief shouting match ensued between several Barisan Nasional Opposition MPs and Pakatan Harapan MPs.
The commotion was sparked by Datuk Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) who called for another price survey, as the present was done during the tax Goods and Services Tax (GST) holiday before the implementation of the SST.
He noted that survey was done based on manufacturers’ supply of previous stock of goods, and not on current supply.
To this, Chong reminded Ahmad that he had earlier acknowledged that it was too premature to assess the impact of the SST on prices of goods.
He said this was due to the price survey being based on pre-September goods.