KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pix) has refuted research findings that manufacturing costs have risen after the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST).
He pointed out that the rate of inflation stood at 1% last year, compared with 3.7% when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was still in force.
Lim said that after the SST came into force on Sept 1 last year, replacing the GST, cost of living had dropped and the people benefited from the lower consumer price index.
He was responding to complaints by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) that the rapid implementation of the SST had caused problems for businesses.
According to FMM president Datuk Soh Thian Lai, a survey carried out jointly by FMM and the Malaysian institute of Economic Research showed that costs for manufacturers had risen by up to 10%.
He said 85% of manufacturers had seen a rise in production costs as a result of higher prices of raw materials, components and services.
Lim, who was speaking to reporters after attending the launch of global gaming and lifestyle brand Razer’s new headquarters in Bangsar South, here, said he was prepared to meet with FMM to iron out issues with regards to the implementation of the SST.
“We have had 18 dialogue sessions across the country and, visited all states to resolve SST-related issues, yet we are still willing to listen. I believe if there are any issues, they can be ironed out,” he added.