Sugar tax to be levied only on manufacturers for now

Bernama pic.

PUTRAJAYA: Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad today said the sugar tax which would come into force on July 1 is only limited to manufacturers for the time being.

“There are no plans to extend the tax to eateries and restaurants offering sugary drinks,” he said. “We will look into that aspect, but not at the moment.

“We are now at the stage of educating consumers to drink less coloured sugary drinks. That is the only way at the moment that we can discourage consumers from these drinks,” he said.

Recent reports speculated that a tax of 40 sen a litre is expected to be imposed on soft drinks containing more than 5 grammes of sugar or sugar-based sweetener per 100 millilitres, and juice or vegetable-based drinks containing more than 12gm of sugar per 100ml

The soft drinks to be taxed would include carbonated drinks, flavoured drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages.

The sugar tax had been expected to begin on April 1 but was extended to July 1 to give manufacturers and the Customs Department time to make preparations.