Na­tional As­sem­bly re-de­lib­er­ates on the Cus­toms Bill 2015

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Wangmo

The Na­tional As­sem­bly re-de­lib­er­ated on the Cus­toms Bill 2015 on 25th Nov. The de­lib­er­a­tions were based on the rec­om­men­da­tions pro­posed by the Na­tional Coun­cil. The Na­tional Coun­cil had pro­posed 34 rec­om­men­da­tions.

Section 30 per­tain­ing to cus­toms duty and its re­vi­sion thereof on goods was de­lib­er­ated at length in the House. The Na­tional Assem- bly en­dorsed that the cus­toms duty and its re­vi­sion on goods shall be ap­proved by the Par­lia­ment. How­ever, the Na­tional Coun­cil has rec­om­mended that while the par­lia­ment shall ap­prove cus­toms duty and its re­vi­sion on goods, it shall be pro­posed in con­sul­ta­tion with rel­e­vant agen­cies. The Min­is­ter for Fi­nance said that all pro­pos­als for taxes were in­ter­na­tion­ally pre­pared in se­cret as it would cre­ate prob­lems if con­sul­ta­tions were held. Sup­port­ing the sub­mis­sion, the Chair­per­son of the eco­nomic & pri­vate sec­tor de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee ex­pressed that con­sul­ta­tions on tax pro­pos­als would re­sult in hoard­ing and lob­by­ing. The House sub­se­quently re­solved to up­hold its ear­lier res­o­lu­tion.

Section 46 could not be en­dorsed by the House as rec­om­mended by the Na­tional Coun­cil. The Na­tional Coun­cil had pro­posed that the cus­toms duty shall not be levied on goods im­ported into Bhutan in ac­cor­dance with bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral agree­ments signed by the Gov­ern­ment. . On the other hand, the Na­tional As­sem­bly had ear­lier pro­posed that the cus­toms duty shall not be levied on goods im­ported into Bhutan in ac­cor­dance with the free or pref­er­en­tial trade agree­ment be­tween Bhutan and other coun­tries.

The House could not en­dorse section 154 ei­ther as rec­om­mended by the Na­tional Coun­cil. The Na­tional Coun­cil had rec­om­mended that if the ap­peal is un­suc­cess­ful, the ap­pel­lant shall be li­able to pay the dis­puted amount only whereas the Na­tional Coun­cil had re­solved that the dis­puted amount shall be payable with pe­nal in­ter­est of 24 per­cent per an­num or frac­tion thereof.

Of the 34 sec­tions, a to­tal of 5 sec­tions rec­om­mended by the Na­tional Coun­cil could not be en­dorsed by the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

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