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7th Sitting: Introduction and deliberation on the Money Bills

Posted on :06 December 2021

The Finance Minister, Lyonpo Namgay Tshering, introduced three money bills in the House for amendment this morning. The Bills included the Custom Duty (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2021; the Tax (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2021; and the Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill of Bhutan 2021. 


Welcoming the Finance Minister and the officials accompanying him, the Chairperson of the National Council, His Excellency Tashi Dorji, informed that in accordance with the Public Finance Act 2012 under section 46B , the National Assembly passed three money Bills in the ongoing session (6th Session of the Third Parliament) and passed them to the National Council for deliberation and adoption.


On behalf of the Government and the Ministry, the Minister expressed his appreciation to the House for giving him the opportunity to present the Bills for amendment. 


Briefly outlining the background, he reported that the amendment was proposed mainly to harmonize the commodity description and coding system. Since Bhutan is a contracting  party to the World Customs Organization (2006) it is subject to the changes required to be made in the Harmonized System (HS). He explained that the HS Convention is used worldwide for the uniform classification of goods traded internationally into a six digit code which serves as the basis for levying taxes, duties and for compilation of international trade staticitide in 211 economies. It is revised every five years and changes are required to be made in line with the 7th edition of HS, the Custom Duty, Sales tax, Green tax and GST schedules are required to be amended accordingly. Bhutan also follows the system called the  Bhutan Trade Classification & Tariff Schedule (2007). 


Highlighting the factors for revision on HS 2022, he said the changes are made as per the changes in environmental, social concerns, technological advancement and trade volumes amongst others. Finally, he said that in order to encourage the use of alternate sources of energy, the new duty rates proposed in the bills are all within the existing rate except for the HS code for Solar Water Heater.  


The introduction concluded with the Members seeking clarification on the Bills.


The Bills which were  assigned to the EAC for review were  presented by the Hon'ble Ugyen Tshering, Chairperson of EAC for deliberation.  


In  deliberating the Bills, the  Hon'ble Members  shared their views and observations on the requirements and procedure in introducing such revision in the Money bills to  the Parliament and on the  title of the Bills. Approving the proposed amendments, the House  referred the Bills back to the  Committee  to prepare them for adoption after addressing the concerns shared by the Hon'ble Members.  


The Hon'ble Finance Minister will introduce the Fiscal Incentives Bill 2021 and the House will  deliberate on the same Bill in the 8th Sitting of the Session tomorrow.


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