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24-hour ops room to monitor post-GST prices

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry will open a round-the-clock operations room to monitor prices after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) kicks off.

It would be based at the ministry in Precinct 2 here, minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said.

“It will start operation on March 31 until several days after April 1, depending on the situation,” he said after launching the updated Malaysian business code of ethics here yesterday.

Hasan said the operations room would also take complaints and reports from the public on GST matters.

“We will take action against unscrupulous traders,” he added.

He also said about 2,000 enforcement personnel would be on standby to act on complaints.

Meanwhile, the Customs Department has appointed seven banks to provide the convenience for GST registrants to pay the tax.

The banks are RHB Islamic Bank Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Bank Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, Alliance Islamic Bank Bhd and Hong Leong Islamic Banking Bhd.

“They can use over-the-counter facilities, cash deposit machines and online banking to pay the tax. Our intention is to make things as easy as possible for GST registrants,” said Customs director-general Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad after signing the deals with the banks yesterday.

Khazali said the banks were not appointed as agents to collect taxes for the department but to provide convenience of making payments.

The department, he said, also welcomed other local and international banks to become their partners in providing more choices for GST registrants to make payments.

On the anti-GST protests at the Customs headquarters in Kelana Jaya on Monday, he said the department would answer all 106 questions on GST submitted by them.

“The answers would be uploaded onto our website soon,” he said.

The group, a coalition of NGOs and opposition parties, had walked into the headquarters with the list of questions on GST.-thestar

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