MORE consumer goods and services will be exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), including necessities such as RON95 petrol, diesel, liquified petroleum gas (LPG), bread and medication for 30 types of diseases.
Electricity consumption up to 300 units will also be GST-free, a move which is expected to benefit 70 per cent of Malaysian households.
GST, which will be implemented on April 1, is estimated to add RM23.2bil to the Government's revenue while exemptions are expected to total RM3.8bil.
"Of the 944 goods and services in the basket of goods of the CPI (Consumer Price Index), the prices of 532 items or 56 per cent are expected to be reduced by up to 4.1 per cent," Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
"Among the goods are medicine, electrical appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines, textile products, plastic products such as pails and plates, shoes and slippers, household furniture, baby diapers, soap, meat, chicken egg, cooking oil, seafood, rice and vegetables.
"Meanwhile, about 354 goods and services may experience some price increase, but it will be less than 5.8 per cent.
"The Government hopes that traders will be responsible and not raise prices indiscriminately to burden the people," the Prime Minister said.
The Government is expected to disseminate a shoppers' guide to help consumers make informed choices and compare prices of goods before and after the implementation of the GST.
Najib said the scope of items that would not be subjected to GST would be expanded to cover items like local and imported fruits, white and wholemeal bread, coffee powder, tea dust, cocoa powder, yellow mee, kuey teow, laksa, and meehoon.
Close to 2,900 brands of medicine used to treat 30 types of diseases are also covered, including heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and fertility treatment.
Newspapers and reading material such as children's colouring books, exercise and reference books, text books, dictionaries and religious books will also be exempted from the tax.