Review of SST rate guide to continue


The list of items in the Guide on Sales Tax Rate for Various Goods for the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) will be reviewed and amended until year-end.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (picture) said the list of goods is dynamic and organic, and continuous review will be conducted to determine its impact on government revenue and the wellbeing of the people.

“For the time being, the list will only be used as a reference until amendments can be made accordingly.

“This is so as we feel that there may be goods for which we think the tax can be reduced to 5% from 10%, or from 10% or 5%, that are to be exempted. This is something that we can consider,” he told a press conference on the SST implementation in Putrajaya yesterday.

Asked if the revision of the list of goods for SST could affect the revenue collection target, Lim said it would be a challenge to the government

However, Lim said the government needs time to examine the implications of the review.

“But to me, it will not have a big impact. That is why we need more time to look at the implications, but it is important that we want the people to be able to enjoy the food that they love all this while and not be burdened by this tax,” he said.

Commenting on the prices of goods on the third day of the SST’s implementation, the finance minister said: “If possible, I would like to see the prices to be even lower and we will continue to strive towards it.

“I am not like the previous government which said prices will certainly go down. But in the event the prices go up, the impact and effects will be lesser than half of the Goods and Services Tax (GST),” he said.

Asked whether businesses have the right to sue the government over unpaid GST refunds, Lim said they could seek legal advice.

“But I wonder why, from 2015 up to May 2018, you (businesses) never sued the government. Why only now you want to sue? Is it because you see the current government as friendly and approachable, and therefore, now you can sue?

“If businesses can wait over the past two years, why can’t they wait another three months (for their refunds)?” he said.

Lim recently said GST refunds, which were not paid by the previous Barisan Nasional government, would only be paid out beginning in 2019. — Bernama