KAMPAR - Consumers must exercise their rights and choose not to patronise businesses that raise prices using the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as an excuse.
International Trade and Industry deputy minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said some people would take advantage of the people's lack of understanding on the GST to make quick profits.
"In such instances, consumers should be smart and avoid unscrupulous traders.
"They should also lodge complaints with the Domestic Trade and Consumerism Affairs Ministry so that action can be taken against these irresponsible traders," he said after opening a seminar on GST and GST e-voucher applications for small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) here yesterday.
He was commenting on reports that certain traders had raised the prices with the GST as an excuse even prior to its implementation.
Lee also urged consumers to attend seminars on the GST organised by government agencies in order to become smarter consumers.
"Right now, most people only have half the knowledge of what the GST is about although more are making an effort to attend seminars that are being held throughout the country," he added.
Earlier in his speech, Lee said the Finance Ministry had allocated RM150million (S$58million) to provide one-off grants to SMEs for the purpose of upgrading their accounting system in the form of GST e-vouchers.
The e-vouchers, valued at RM1,000 each, are given out on a first come, first serve basis.
According to statistics released by SME Corp, a total of 9,203 SMEs have so far applied for the e-voucher.
Of this number, 6,680 applications were approved and 474 rejected while another 1,115 were being processed.