No SST on construction materials, services

By AZREEN HANI / Pic By TMR

Building material costs and construction services will be exempted from the Sales and Service Tax (SST), said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Some of the building materials that will not be subjected to SST include cement, sand and iron.

“The pressure on house prices, industrial and commercial buildings is expected to be eased by the abolition of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and the exemption of SST.

“The federal government hopes that the construction costs can be reduced with the exemption of SST,” Lim said in a statement yesterday.

The implementation of GST on the construction sector, he said, had led to increases in house prices.

“With the proposed exemption of goods from SST and the difference in GST implementation, I hope both the developers and the buyers can benefit from the reduction of this tax burden,” he said.

Separately, Lim also defended the government’s decision to abolish GST, saying the tax had impacted all Malaysians, especially the poor.

“Najib forgets that GST has impacted all Malaysians, particularly unfairly on the poor for the first time, when they never had to pay any taxes previously,” he said in response to remarks made by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak that the GST abolition would only benefit the rich and businessmen.

“This had imposed a heavy financial burden on the ordinary rakyat until they had no choice but to change government for the first time in 61 years, because no change means that GST will live and be a continuation of their economic distress,” Lim added.

The finance minister pointed out that the government did not go bankrupt without GST, despite warnings by the previous administration.

“Not only did the government not go bankrupt, but BR1M (renamed as Bantuan Sara Hidup or BSH) payments were continued even without GST,” Lim said.