KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry will appeal to the Finance Ministry to request for the State Sales Tax (SST) imposed on fish exports to be deferred again.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said he sympathised with industry players, noting that the Covid-19 situation remained “unchanged” since August 2021.
“I have not changed my stance (to defer SST on fish exports) on this issue. Unfortunately, the topic of tax is not under my ministry but falls within the state Finance Ministry,” he said in a statement here on Wednesday (Jan 19).
Kitingan said the SST was suspended from May to December 2021, and the fishing industry should not be asked to pay the tax.
“The issue of deferring the tax until the economic situation improves was discussed at length last year with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, who is also the state Finance Minister.
“Both ministries agreed and decided that it was best to postpone the implementation of the SST on fishery commodities export at the time.
“Since the economy is yet to fully recover, I will try again to persuade the Finance Ministry to reconsider postponing the tax,” he said, responding to industry players who urged the state to put the SST on hold pending the recovery of the industry.