PUTRAJAYA: The highest registration rate for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was recorded on the second last day of the exercise on Feb 27 with 18,641 companies complying with the requirement.

Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said the 11th hour rush to meet the deadline brought the total number of registrants to 343,920 on Feb 27 from 325,279 on Feb 26.

As the registration closed at 11.59 pm Feb 28, the total number of businesses that had registered for the GST were 345,939, more than double the target of 160,000, told reporters after launching the 1ASEAN Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 at the Finance Ministry here today.

Under the GST, all businesses with a sales turnover of RM500,000 or more, are required to register, while those with less, can do so voluntarily.

The registration deadline was originally set for Dec 31, 2014, before being extended to Feb 28.

Companies that failed to register for the GST before Feb 28 would face a RM15,000 compound and be forcibly registered in a crackdown against defaulters launched by the Royal Customs Department yesterday with the deployment of 5,000 officers.

Mohd Irwan Siregar said the authorities were on track for the GST implementation on April 1.

“We are taking steps to educate the people on the GST. Of course, there will be hiccups, but not major hurdles,” he said.

On the fluctuating global oil prices, he said the price movement would take some time to return to the original level.

He said the price would likely be between US$55 and US$65 a barrel this year, but could go up to US$70 a barrel.

As Malaysia has revised the earlier crude oil price assumption of US$100 per barrel used in Budget 2015 to US$55 per barrel, he said, “If crude oil were to fetch better price, then we can spend more to boost the economy. -- BERNAMA