A week ago, we reported that the price for prepaid reloads will return to pre-GST rates in November. Unfortunately, it seems that the move has been scraped following the announcement of GST rebate for prepaid reload by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the tabling of Budget 2016 last week.
“Scraped” might be a strong word to use but we feel that it is fair description for this matter. The Minister of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has stated after the tabling of Budget 2016 that the existing GST charges on telco prepaid reloads will remain until the new rebate mechanism that was announced by the PM is implemented on 1 January 2016.
In another related statement, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong revealed that the rebate mechanism will be announced in early December pending the result of discussions with Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission as well as telco companies. The government is also looking into making a joint announcement with telcos when the time comes, in order to avoid confusion. In other words, it appears that the government has still not figured out how exactly it will reimburse Malaysian prepaid consumers, given the very complex nature of the operation.
As telcos such as Celcom, DiGi and Maxis seemed to have no problem accepting the announcement by PM, we do hope all the timeline mentioned above will take place on schedule. After all, we feel that the issue of GST implementation on prepaid reloads has been dragging on for far too long.