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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — Just a day after Malaysians were sent rushing to the pumps to fill up before yesterday’s fuel price hike, PAS leader Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad urged the government to publicly disclose if it will be imposing the 6 per cent Goods and Service Tax (GST) on petrol and diesel.
The PAS Research Centre executive director yesterday pressed Putrajaya to issue a gazette and clearly state the items that fall into three categories under the new tax scheme that will be rolled out next April.
“List down what is in the 6 per cent category, list down what is in the tax-exempted category and list down what is in the zero-rated category,” he told a forum on the Budget 2015 here.
“Until today, our question is whether petrol is in the 6 per cent list or not? They still don’t want to answer,” he said.
Last month, Putrajaya was forced to deny reports that petrol and diesel would be subjected to the GST, with Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan saying that the government has “not made a final decision” on this matter.
If fuel is subjected to the GST, it would cause a hike in the prices of other goods and services, Dzulkefly said.
“This will spark a chain effect, knock-on effect on many other goods and services,” the PAS central committee member said.
In the same forum, Dzulkefly claimed that the government’s insistence in rolling out the GST is because it was “desperate” for a revenue source.
But Dzulkefly reiterated opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat’s stand that the country was not yet ready for the implementation of the GST, listing down the conditions that should be fulfilled before the broad-based consumption tax can be implemented.
Among the conditions that should be present before the government introduces the GST are the growth of largely stagnant wages, the stopping of leakages of public funds, the introduction of the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) as another form of government revenue, he said.
The government also has to first dismantle monopolies in the economy and address the Approved Permits (AP) issue.
“Dismantle monopolies. Don’t distort the market forces of supply and demand. Allow healthy competition, because according to the laws of supply and demand, prices will go down if it wasn’t choked by monopolies,” Dzulkefly said.
On October 1, the Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry announced that fuel subsidies will be cut by 20 cents, increasing the prices for RON95 petrol and diesel to RM2.30 per litre and RM2.20 per litre respectively.
Since last September, Putrajaya has taken aggressive cost-cutting measures to address its chronic budget deficits, including cuts to fuel and sugar subsidies as well as increasing electricity tariffs.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is scheduled to table the Budget 2015 in Parliament on October 10.