KUCHING: There will always be an increase in the price of goods so long as taxes are imposed on them, said Assistant Minister of Entrepreneur and Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Datuk Naroden Majais.
According to him, whether it is goods and services tax (GST) or sales and services tax (SST), these taxes will continue to contribute to price increases unless the government does away with them.
“We really hope that by abolishing GST and replacing it with SST, this will help improve the price of goods in Malaysia especially after the 14th general election.
“But whatever it is, any additional cost will add to the increase of price of goods including taxes whether it is GST or SST. One thing’s for sure, both will increase the price of goods unless we do away with it,” he said in response to a question by Dr Hazland Abang Hipni (PBB-Demak Laut) at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) yesterday.
Naroden also noted that another factor is the variable costs within the supply chain ranging from raw material cost; logistic cost; processing cost; rental and utilities; unnecessary non-skilled manpower, wastage as well as variables of demand and supply which are beyond the government’s control.
Following the appointment of Chong Chieng Jen as Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Naroden hoped that the state DAP chairman and his ministry can come up with strategies and policies on how to reduce the price of goods in the country in the future.
“This is what he has been trying to champion all this while in this august house,” he remarked.
Earlier, Naroden said the government has always been supportive towards the growth of small, medium enterprises (SMEs) through business-friendly policies and provided numerous assistance in terms of financial and non-financial facilities.
“The financial assistances rendered to SMEs include soft loans, grants plus training, development programmes as well as various other incentives.”
He also pointed out that one of the initiatives for wage and employment is the implementation of minimum wage, which is currently at RM920 per month for Sarawak and RM1,000 per month for Peninsular Malaysia.
“The state government always gives priority to our local workforce especially in Sama Jaya and Samalaju industrial parks.
“All these initiatives will hopefully help provide employment, improve profitability and wages and build up interests for the people to participate in SMEs and hence improve the standard of living of our people.”