Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rafizi: BN's 'new' car price policy caters to rich

Harakahdaily,28 February 2013

Feb 28: There is nothing to shout about the announcement today by Ministry of International Trade and Industry to slash duties on cars from Japan and Australia, according to PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli.

“It is not something new and it's part of the policy which is widely known,” he said.

Rafizi said there was already a policy to abolish import duties on completely built-up luxury cars, and no import tax on vehicles from Japan in the 2,500 to 3,000cc range.

But Rafizi said the policy was tailored to benefit the rich.

“Import duty is abolished for those big, imported and expensive vehicles which only the wealthy can afford,” he said.

On the announcement by International Trade and Industry minister Mustapa Mohamad, Rafizi said the ‘new’ policy would only impact 21,000 vehicles annually because CBU vehicles from Japan only make up 3.5 percent of the total industry volume.

While the impact on Australian-made cars is negligible, he added.

In contrast, Rafizi said PR’s automative policy which forms part of its manifesto is meant to reduce excise duties gradually over the course of five years at 20 percent annually.

He said at present, vehicles 1,800 cc and below are slapped with excise duty as high as 85 percent, and 115 percent for vehicles above 3,000 cc, without considering production cost.

“These are the taxes killing the people especially the lower group who buy locally produced vehicles,” Rafizi said.

Mustapa meanwhile denied that the policy which would see zero duties on cars made in Japan and Australia after three years was a reaction to PR’s manifesto.

“It was just a coincidence ... It had nothing to do with (the manifesto),” he claimed.
~ Harakah Daily

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