KUALA LUMPUR - Parents with infants and toddlers will be relieved to know they will not have to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for baby milk formula.
In addition to milk for children aged up to 36 months, sugar, rice, religious books and an additional 1,315 brands of medicines have also been listed as part of the zero-rated items.
"Expanding the list of zero-rated medicines from 2,900 to 4,215 is to ensure that the medicines under the National Essential List can cover all dosages and types of consumption," the Finance Ministry said in a statement yesterday.
"The ministry will also look into the Health Ministry's proposals to further expand on the types of medication for specific diseases to be zero-rated."
GST on maintenance fees and sinking funds, which was initially exempted for low and medium-cost houses, has now been expanded to all types of residential buildings with strata titles.
"The Government hopes that the GST exemption on the maintenance fees and sinking funds for all types of houses with strata titles will help the Joint Management Body and building owners to manage and maintain the building," the ministry stated.
Skills training courses have also been included in the list of education services exempted from GST, provided that the institute offering the course is accredited according to the National Skills Development Act 2006.
There is also good news for non-governmental organisations and religious institutions who are fully involved in welfare and religious activities as they will no longer be subjected to the GST.
Meanwhile, in an earlier press conference, Customs GST division senior assistant director II Norazura Hashim said to make it easier for consumers to identify zero-rated medicines, "each medicine now has a certification number issued by the Health Ministry; after GST is implemented, the letter "Z" would be added to the end of it to indicate that it is zero-rated".