Posted on November 22, 2013, Friday
|WHY GST: The participants listen to explanations by Noelle.|
SIBU: The government will publish a ‘Shoppers’ Guide’ three months before the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April 2015 to protect the consumers.
State’s Customs Department senior assistant director Noelle Lily Rolland Morse said the step was for consumers to make comparison of prices of goods and services before and after GST implementation.
“Other than that, Customs Department as the implementing agency together with Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, will monitor the prices of goods and services for one year after the implementation.
“We want to make sure retailers do not increase their prices indiscriminately,” she said when conducting ‘Budget 2014 and GST’ briefing at Kampong Nyabor Malay Union Club hall in Kampung Bandong here yesterday. It was organised by Information Department and attended by representatives from various government departments and agencies, non-governmental organisations and community leaders.
She said they would also engage cooperation from hypermarkets to be the price setter for the benefit of consumers.
“There will be an increase in prices of some goods and services such as non-alcoholic drinks, private education and private health and dining in restaurant or hotel.
“However, GST will not burden the people especially those from middle and lower income groups because it is not a new tax.
“It will replace the sales and services tax. It is not a cost for registered businesses as food and basic necessities are exempted from it,” she elaborated.
Furthermore, she said the Consumer Price Index will decrease for some items such as clothing, shoes as well as home decoration, maintenance and hardware.
Noelle said none of the some 160 countries that were using GST or also known as Value Added Tax (VAT) had abolished the system.
In fact, she said, the number of countries implementing the system increased every year from 140 countries in 2006 to more than 160 now.
“This means that the system is well accepted by people,” she said. “Of course, there are some who said it is not the right time to implement GST and that we should wait until we reach developed nation status.
“But the system is also used by underdeveloped countries like those in South America. In Southeast Asia, Malaysia is among three countries that have yet to implement GST.
“When we implement the system in 2015, be glad because our GST rate at six per cent will be the lowest among Asean countries using the system,” she said.