KUALA LUMPUR: The small drop in the prices of goods is the reason why the people have not been able to fully feel or realise the effects of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which was zero-rated since June 1.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (pix) said the prices of goods appeared to remain the same as over 70% of 417 goods saw a price drop of between 0.04% and 13%.
He added that based on the findings of a survey done over 35 days from June 1, the 417 goods among others included baby items as well as wet and dry stuff.
"In fact, there is no increase and the price drop is so small that it hardly reached 30% to 40%," he said.
The Minister who is also Kulim Bandar Baharu MP told Bernama this after speaking as a guest on the Ruang Bicara programme, aired by Bernama News Channel yesterday.
His comments were based on complaints from the public, several consumer associations including former minister Tan Sri Rais Yatim, who claimed that there was no change in the price of goods despite the implementation of zero rate GST from June 1.
"When we look at the complaints, there are two main categories – one where the prices remain unchanged and the other where the prices have increased.
"However out of the 10 complaints received, five of them were related to food and beverages at restaurants, dining outlets and food courts." he said.
Saifuddin said food and beverage prices were lowered at fast food outlets, but that was not the case in Indian Muslim or 'mamak' restaurants where the prices remained unchanged, and in some eateries, prices had increased.
"There are about 10,000 mamak restaurants and ministry officers found that there was a significant drop in prices at fast food outlets compared to prices at mamak restaurants.
Saifuddin said he planned to display a sample of the prices of goods that had been surveyed by officers directly into the ministry's website.