Brewers suggest for no increase in taxes

THE Confederation of Malaysian Brewers Bhd (CMBB) comprising Heineken Malaysia Bhd and Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd reiterated the industry’s commitment to be part of the solution to combat the impact of Covid-19 and positively contribute to support the nation’s recovery.

Within the 55 years of the brewing industry’s presence in the country, it has contributed over RM2.2 bil in taxes annually, provided direct and indirect employment to over 66,000 people, with its products being the source of income to more than 35,000 local businesses and retailers.

Together, CMBB creates RM2.86 bil in added value to the local economy from its local products and services annually.

However, these contributions are at risk due to the volatility of the pandemic’s impact, challenging external environment, weak consumer sentiment and the growing illicit alcohol market.

In view of such challenges, among others, CMBB recommends that excise duties and sales tax should not be increased for the upcoming tabling of Budget 2021. Instead, CMBB advocates the enforcement against illicit trade, specifically on imported beer with no duties paid.

“The pandemic is impacting the economy and consumer sentiment. We are seeing local businesses that depend on beer as a source of revenue struggle for survival. Many were forced to close down and cut their losses,” Heineken Malaysia managing director Roland Bala said.

“We urge the government to keep excise duties on beer at existing levels as we are concerned that any increase in taxes will only fuel illicit alcohol at the expense of legal tax-paying local businesses,” he added.

Apart from its recommendation for no further excise duty and tax increases, CMBB urges the Government to consider introducing support packages to help struggling operators of bars, and entertainment outlets that still remain closed since the beginning of MCO earlier this year. – Oct 12, 2020

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