: Zero-rating of medicines for non-communicable diseases is among the seven measures to improve GST treatment, effective Jan 1, next year.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the improvement involved all types of controlled medicines under the Poisons List Group A, B, C, D, as well as an addition of 95 brands of over-the-counter medicines.
"Also included are medicines for 30 types of illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
"This is a double increase from 4,215 to 8,630 brands of medicines," he said while presenting the Budget 2016 themed, 'Prospering the Rakyat'
at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Najib who is also Finance Minister cited the second GST improvement, as zero-rating of various food items including soybean-based milk and organic-based milk for infant and children.
The prime minister further proposed as the third improvement, that the annual sales turnover threshhold for registration under the GST for small-scale farmers be reduced to RM50,000 from RM100,000.
Najib said companies involved in maintenance, repair and overhaul activities in the aerospace industry are allowed to participate in the Approved Trader Scheme which relieves them from paying GST on the imported goods.
On the fifth improvement, he said GST relief is also provided for reimportation of goods that were exported temporarily for the purpose of promotion, research or exhibition.
He said GST relief is also provided on the reimportation of equipment such as equipment for oil and floating platforms that are temporarily exported for the purpose of rental and leasing.
On the seventh improvement, relief is provided on teaching materials and equipment procured by skills and vocational training providers conducting approved programmes under the National Skills Development Act 2006.
Najib also said mobile phone users would receive rebates equivalent to the amount of GST paid, to be credited directly to their prepaid accounts, effective Jan 1, 2016 till Dec 31, 2016.
Meanwhile, domestic air transportation for economy class passengers on Rural Air Services routes is exempted from GST. This is to benefit people in the interior areas of Sabah and Sarawak as well as Labuan, said Najib.
He also told the Dewan Rakyat that almost 400,000 companies had registered for GST to date, with a submission rate of more than 90 percent.
Malaysia implemented the GST last April 1, in an effort to strengthen the national economy, taking into account the interest of the people.
The move saw Malaysia joining more than 160 countries worldwide, that had adopted the GST, including seven ASEAN countries.
At six per cent, the rate is the lowest in ASEAN, with the government targeting the revenue for development and improving social infrastructure.
The GST replaced the Sales and Service Tax (SST) of 16 percent enforced by Malaysia earlier.