National Assembly re-deliberates on the Customs Bill 2015
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.