Guan Eng: Operating deficit if SST not imposed on Sept 1

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

PUTRAJAYA: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng says the government must implement the sales and services tax (SST) on Sept 1 or risk facing an operating deficit.

At a media briefing on the SST here today, Lim said without the tax, the government would be short of RM4 billion.

“Operating deficit means that the revenue you get is not enough to pay the salaries and maintenance of offices.

“We cannot afford to suffer an operating deficit,” he said, adding that this would be “terrible”.

He said there were some issues which still needed to be resolved but the government could no longer delay implementing the tax.

The SST replaces the 6% goods and services tax introduced by the previous Barisan Nasional government in 2015.

It will see selected items subject to a 5% or 10% tax while services will be subject to a 6% tax.