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Good Governance Committee recommends for withdrawal of the Goods and Services Tax Bill of Bhutan 2020

Posted on :18 February 2020

The House deliberated on the Goods and Services Tax Bill of Bhutan 2020, which was passed by National Assembly and forwarded to National Council for deliberation.

Hon’ble Lhatu, Chairperson of Good Governance Committee, presented the Committee’s observations and recommendation on the Bill. He said that the Committee acknowledges and supports the government for initiating to introduce the GST system. It fully recognizes the merit of transitioning to the GST system as it will promote modernization of taxation system through digitization; broaden the tax base; and address the issues of double taxation and tax evasion. However, he highlighted the Committee’s concerns over the National Assembly's edorsement of two different dates for the commencement for same Bill, violation of Section 46B of the Public Finance (Amendment) Act 2012, and the unpreparedness of the government to immediately implement the GST system.

Therefore, in order to uphold Section 46B of the PFAA 2012 and provide the government adequate time to establish necessary facilities to implement the GST system, the Committee recommends that the National Assembly should withdraw the GST Bill for now.

Most of the members shared the same concerns as the Committee and supported its recommendation to withdraw the Bill. Additional recommendations were suggested by the members for the need to amendment the Public Finance (Amendment) Act 2012 in order to formalize the commencement dates of such Bills and also clearly segregate and define money and financial Bills. The House directed the Committee to prepare the recommendations for the withdrawal of the Bill.

Tomorrow, the House will adopt the recommendations of the Committee on the GST Bill for withdrawal; and also deliberate on the Review of Legislation and Strategies for Addressing Human Trafficking.

 

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