The exemption of 532 items from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will be implemented in April next year, showed that the government is concerned about the rakyat’s welfare.

Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, said the rakyat did not have to worry about the GST because it would not have a negative impact on the basic items like RON95 petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas.

“Consumers don’t have to listen to the charges by the opposition parties that the prices of the goods will go up with the GST,” he told reporters at the Anti-Dengue Programme at Kampung Gelam here today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in presenting 2015 Budget in Parliament yesterday, said the government proposed not to impose GST on basic food items and services.

He said based on feedback received fom all segments of society, the government agreed to widen the scope of items that will not be subjected to GST.

Of the 944 goods and services in the basket of goods of the Consumer Price Index, the prices of 532 items, or 56 per cent, are expected to be reduced by 4.1 per cent.

Among the goods are medicines, electrical appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines, textile products such as pails and plates, shoes and slippers, household furniture, baby diapers, soap, meat, chicken eggs, cooking oil, seafood, rice and vegetables.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Bashah said the ministry hs not received any complaint about the price increase following the rise of petrol price by 20 sen on Oct 2.

“We have checked over 200 premises in Kedah within a week and found that not one of them has taken the opportunity to increase the price,” he said.