LETTERS: In April this year, I placed a booking for a new European car through a dealer.
But I was told that due to global supply chain disruptions, it would take several months for me to take delivery of the vehicle.
I was told that in all likelihood, I could only get my car in October this year. This meant I would have to fork out an additional RM9,000 plus for my car.
This is because the deadline for the vehicle sales tax exemption was only until June 30. And unlike some other dealers, mine could not absorb the sales tax even if I had placed the order before the deadline.
I had no choice but to proceed with the booking although I had to pay almost RM10,000 extra. This is because my current car of 12 years was falling apart and the maintenance and repairs were burning a large hole in my pocket.
But imagine my delight when Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, announced that while the sales tax exemption deadline stays, those who had placed their bookings during the tax holiday could still enjoy the benefit so long as they register their vehicles with the Road Transport Department before March 31 next year.
That means people like me will qualify for the sales tax exemption after all! For myself and others who share the same predicament, that translates to huge savings.
As we know, the economy has not fully recovered to the pre-Covid times. Many are still cautious about the future although the general consensus is that the worst is over.
The extra savings from the sales tax exemption could help to ease our cashflow. And it's not our fault that cars which used to take weeks to arrive prior to the pandemic, are now taking months.
Besides, cars are no longer a symbol of wealth or luxury. It is now a necessity, especially if you live far away from public transport systems.
Kudos to the Finance Ministry for coming up with a mid-point solution to balance the interests of car buyers and government revenue. Since June 15, 2020, over 800,000 units of vehicles have been sold with car buyers enjoying the sales tax exemption.
I can understand why the tax exemption cannot be extended as it will hurt the government's finances.
But, with the Finance Ministry's mid-way solution, we can now strike a delicate balance between these two competing interests.
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times