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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Add more items in the zero-rated list, gov’t told

FMT Staff | April 9, 2014

This will help ensure that the goods and services tax is a more progressive tax, says MCA's Chua Tee Yong.

PETALING JAYA: MCA vice president Chua Tee Yong has called for the government to add items in the zero-rated list to ease the burden of the low and middle income group.

“With this, it will help to ensure the goods and services tax (GST) is a more progressive tax,” he said in a press statement, today.

Chua said that during a GST briefing at the MCA headquarters and a meeting with the GST implementation unit, MCA had urged the government to continuously evaluate items to be included in the zero-rated list.

“We have raised a proposal to increase the electricity exemption to the first 300 kWh to ensure more residential users are exempted.

“On April 7, 2014, the government confirmed that the threshold is increased hence providing relief to 4.56 million consumers in the peninsular and 260,000 consumers in Sabah and Labuan,” he said.

During the announcement of Budget 2014, one of the exempt items was domestic electricity for the first 200 kWh hence exempting 50% of residential users.

The Labis MP added that a shopper’s guide will come in handy during the early stage of the GST implementation so that consumers will understand which items are zero rated.

“This will also enable consumers to play a role in monitoring prices to help reduce profiteering by dishonest sellers,” he said.

Chua also pointed out, that with the implementation of the GST, the rakyat will have higher expectations on government spending since they are more aware that they contribute directly to the government revenue.

“Hence, it is important that measures are implemented to curb wastage and leakages and the government must take stern action against those who are responsible as highlighted in the Auditor-General’s report.”

Parliament passed the GST Bill 2014 on April 7 after MPs spent two days debating the controversial tax in the House.

The GST will be effective come April 1, 2015.

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