GEORGE TOWN, Jul 7 – The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has maintained its findings on a survey that revealed 70% of consumer goods’ prices experienced a drop in prices since the zero rate of Goods and Sales Tax (GST) was introduced on June 1.
Its minister, Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said apart from monitoring by the ministry’s enforcement wing for one month, he was informed of the matter by traders while conducting inspections, including at the Bayan Baru Market, here today.
“KPDNHEP enforcement has conducted a survey on 1,688 premises involving 417 items used by consumers, among others, wet and dry items as well as infant essential items and 70% of these prices have dropped between 0.04 and 13%.
“In my observation today, traders also acknowledged the prices of goods have dropped similar to the survey conducted by the survey at the ministry level previously,” he added.
Prior to this, various quarters had questioned Saifuddin Nasution’s statement on the fall in prices of goods between June 1 and 30, with Umno Youth vice chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan even urging the minister to disclose the report of the study to enable the people to compare the real prices on the market.
Saifuddin Nasution, who is also Kulim Bandar Baharu MP, said the survey conducted also found the willingness to spend among consumers was on the rise, following cheaper prices of goods. He said traders also admitted there was a drop in the prices of goods purchased from wholesalers and they could offer cheaper prices to consumers.
“I enquired from the traders, they informed the people were more inclined to spend after zero rate GST and the spending trend is rising, I believe the feedback is reasonable because the traders are more familiar with the consumers’ habit,” he said.
Meanwhile he said 4,000 complaints were received by the ministry and over 50% of them were concerning prices of goods that remained fixed, with some prices of items increasing after zero GST implementation.
“The number of complaints received last month have increased from May and were made via e-portal, hotline and KPDNKEP website. Our enforcement personnel have taken immediate action and made inspections at restaurants, eateries and food courts,” he added. — Bernama