No prepaid service tax, for now

Telecommunications companies (telcos) will have to get the government’s approval first before imposing a six per cent
service tax on all prepaid sales as planned starting next Thursday.

Deputy Information Communication and Culture Minister Maglin Dennis D’Cruz said telcos could not raise the service tax at short notice as it would burden consumers.

“The ministry gives an assurance that there will be no prepaid tax increase in the near future, and any increase could only be made after getting an approval from the the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC),” he told reporters after attending the Onam Cultural Night organised by the Selangor and Federal Territory Malayalee Association last night.

He was commenting on the six per cent tax announced on Thursday in a joint statement by telecommunication players, who insisted that it was not a new tax but had been absorbed by telcos since it was introduced in 1998.

Maglin said the government was not involved directly in the service tax hike issue and any increase or changes planned had to be approved by the MCMC as the regulator of telcos’ business operations and licences.

Earlier, Maglin presented the Selangor and Federal Territory Malayalee Association 2011 awards to Rajan Nair, Dr. Nirmala Menon, A.C. Pereira and Prof Dr. Aruna Gopinath for their contributions to the Malayalee community.

– Bernama