‘Regular seafood’ now SST-free

PUTRAJAYA: Prawns, lobsters and shrimps will no longer be subject to the 10% sales and services tax (SST), Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today, adding that there had been an oversight by his ministry in the list of taxable seafood.

Lim said the items were ingredients in popular meals such as Char Kuey Teow and could have a chain effect on food prices.

“I must confess I like Char Kuey Teow,” Lim told a press conference today.

He said many of these items were used in curries and dishes sold at Nasi Kandar shops and would now be more expensive.

“Some have questioned why raw ingredients like prawns, crabs and shells have been hit with the 10% SST.

“The 10% tax was imposed on them because they were lumped together with luxury items,” Lim added.

Among the “luxury items” are Rock Lobster, Norway Lobster, cold water shrimps and prawns, oysters and abalone mushrooms.

Lim said he did not realise taxing regular seafood and other produce would affect the prices of meals at restaurants.

The SST came into force on Sept 1, more than three months after the government effectively abolished the goods and services tax (GST) by zero-rating it.

Lim said the 10% tax was being removed now to help traders and consumers who were confused by the SST implementation.

“Those from the middle and low income groups can now enjoy this without paying the 10% SST,”