PETALING JAYA: Food vendors and petty traders, including those selling “pisang goreng” and “keropok” have been urged to register their businesses so that they will be included in the cooking oil subsidy scheme.
The deputy minister for domestic trade and cost of living, Fuziah Salleh, said there were about a million hawkers and food vendors in the country, most of whom did not register their businesses, even though registration is free for those in the B40 (lower-income) group.
“They may be afraid about having to pay income tax after registering,” she told reporters in Alor Setar, according to Berita Harian.
Fuziah said the traders did not realise that they would not be taxed if their income was below the minimum taxable amount. “They only have to make an annual report, this is what they don’t understand,” she said.
The deputy minister said the cooking oil subsidy scheme, targeted at the B40 and M40 (middle-income) groups would begin in stages next year. “If they (hawkers and petty traders) register, it will make it easier for us. We want to include this group in the scheme,” she said.
Fuziah said that a total of 5.8 million people have been identified as being eligible to receive cooking oil subsidies.
“We need to take many things into account for this group, for example the locality where they live. The cost of living is not the same between those in the M40 group who live in Kedah and those living in Kuala Lumpur,” she said.
Fuziah said a total of 60,000 metric tonnes of subsidised cooking oil is provided by the government for the target group every month. The amount would be more than enough because research showed that each household would need 4.8kg of cooking oil per month.