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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kelantanese need not despair on GST

Posted on 18 March 2014 - 01:01pm
Last updated on 18 March 2014 - 02:02pm

KOTA BARU: At the coffee shops, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is still a hot topic among the patrons with many harbouring a misplaced notion on the country's new taxation system.

However, these coffee-shop talks by people who are not familiar with the taxation system's mechanism only adds to unnecessary anxiety when in actual fact the GST is more beneficial to the average consumer.

GST that is set at six percent is a broad based consumption tax that will be implemented effective 1 April 2015 to replace Sales and Services Tax set at 16%.

Those who don't have the right picture of what GST is all about, fear that they will be saddled with high cost of living due to the rising prices of goods and services with the implementation of GST.

To avoid any misconceptions on GST, the Kelantanese in particular should seek information from the right source, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

Customs department set to go to the ground

Kelantan Customs Director Datuk Azis Yacub told Bernama that the department has appointed 30 of its officers to get to the ground to relay to the people on the virtues of GST.

And since GST was announced during the 2014 budget, about 15 seminars have been held to shed light on the new taxation system to the professionals.

"We explained to this group beforehand with the hope that what they learnt will trickle down to the society. We don't want to see the society having a wrong picture on the GST," he said.

"The taxes are used by the government to administer and develop the country and its people. There are laws. Who will want to increase the prices drastically just because of the six percent tax to profit excessively?

"We have laws enforced by the Customs and the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism. Therefore no one can take advantage," he said adding that there were some out there trying to paint a bad picture on the GST and the government.

Easy to understand

He noted that the department would be using a very simple approach when explaining GST to the locals, especially those in the outback.

"I guarantee you that 80% of those living in Kelantan and leading a traditional way of life will not be impacted by GST. So they have nothing to worry. They can buy wheat, rice, sugar. Ordinary villagers who go down to their paddy fields are exempted from GST," he said.

Azis pointed out hitherto there were 1,200 companies in Kelantan registered with the customs department and would be paying the GST.

The department has already started the dry run in familiarising the GST mechanism with the companies.

He hoped that local leaders and non governmental organisation leaders would provide a helping hand in disseminating the information on GST. – Bernama

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