PUTRAJAYA: Rafizi Ramli has sidestepped the issue of lowering taxes on motor vehicles, claiming that it is not within his purview as minister of economy.
“This is a funny thing because it will take some adjustments to differentiate the mandate of my ministry from that of the ministry of finance (MoF),” he said in response to an FMT Business question at a press conference he hosted to speak about economic matters.
Asked about his 2013 pledge to reduce excise duty and sales tax on cars, Rafizi said he was still trying to work out the difference in jurisdiction between his ministry and the MoF.
“I think whatever is required when it comes to the revision of taxes will be undertaken by MoF accordingly, so it’s best to talk to them,” he added.
In an article published earlier today, FMT Business had questioned Rafizi’s failure to revisit the issue of high prices for motor vehicles, especially at a time when Malaysians are gripped by a cost-of-living crisis.
During the 2013 general election campaign, Rafizi had outlined a formula that he said would gradually reduce sales tax and excise duty on motor vehicles.
He proposed that collections from open auctions for the sale of APs (approved permits for the import of cars) be used to cover the inevitable shortfall in government revenue resulting from lowering or removing the sales tax and excise duty.
However, he has yet to present a viable plan to achieve the objective of lowering prices since taking office on Nov 22 after the 15th general election.
In response to another question earlier at the press conference, Rafizi said his objective now is to make sure that as many people as possible in the B40 group get a consistent income every month.
According to the Malaysian Automotive Association, taxes on car sales were likely to reach RM10.7 billion this year, up from RM6 billion in 2022.