The large-scale dissemination of correct and detailed information on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the people will begin this month, says Finance Ministry Secretary General, Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Siregar Abdullah.

He said apart from introducing the GST, the ministry will also go to the ground to meet the people and ensure that any misconceptions over it, is overcome.

“We have already held briefings for academicians, entrepreneurs and businesses. We have now 17 months to brief the public on a more aggressive note,” he told Bernama.

According to Mohd Irwan, there was still a lot of factually incorrect and misleading information on the GST, being disseminated by the opposition and irresponsible people.

“For example, there are some claiming that the GST is an additional tax to what already exists, In reality, the GST effectively replaces the present Sales and Services Tax which will be abolished,” he added.

Apart from disseminating information and clarifying issues through the mass and social media, members of parliament and state assemblymen in the government ranks, as well as community leaders, will also be roped in to provide easy to understand and practical information on the GST.

“We have also set up a website and made available an email and hotline for those seeking information on the tax,” he added.

Mohd Irwan said the GST, to be implemented on April 1, 2015 will not burden the people, especially the lower income group.

“The people need not worry. The government has undertaken careful, detailed and comprehensive planning for implementation of the GST, to ensure it did not impact the people negatively,” he added.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the implementation of the GST when tabling the Budget 2014 in parliament on Oct 25.

He also disclosed that the GST would not be imposed on a number of basic food items that met the daily needs of the people.

In line with the GST implementation, the government also announced a reduction in a number of taxes to stabilise the market.

– BERNAMA

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