KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The inflation rate has retreated to 2 per cent some 18 months after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced, Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said today.
He was replying to Marang MP Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in the Dewan Rakyat during Question Time.
“Now we can see that at the start of us introducing GST, our inflation became 3.435 per cent, but today, we see our inflation has already reached a normal range of about two per cent,” Johari said in reply.
Hadi had asked if Putrajaya was considering replacing the GST with a more equitable system that did not tax the rich and poor alike. He added in a supplementary question that the tax has worsened inflation, despite acknowledging that it was effective in addressing tax avoidance.
Johari also told the Dewan Rakyat that the government will not repeal GST as the system helped combat tax avoidance under the previous Sales and Services Tax (SST) regime, which he dubbed inefficient and inferior to the GST.
Putrajaya introduced the GST in April 2015 and has earned the government RM29.3 billion to date.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the national economy would collapse without the GST.