Govt seeks to lift commodity tax
The government wants the special commodity tax and commercial tax on the production and sale of diamonds, emeralds and gold to be removed.
THE Union government asked the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on July 26 to lift the special commodity tax and commercial tax on the production and sale of diamonds, emeralds and gold.
Under Union Tax Law 2017, taxes are levied on the production and sale of those goods, and the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw must approve any request to remove the taxes, said U Maung Maung Win, deputy minister of Planning and Finance.
Under the law, the production and domestic sale, import and export of processed diamonds and emeralds pay a five percent tax, and raw diamonds and emeralds are taxed 10pc. However, the tax can be levied only on imports because there is no production of those jewels in the country, he said.
“By removing special commodity tax from diamonds and emeralds, those jewels can be legally imported cheaply and we can promote the development of the stone-cutting and polishing industry the same as Thailand and India. There will be more job opportunities and these skills will improve. If we can produce finished gem stones to international standards, we can offer good prices on the international market,” he said.
U Maung Maung Win said that the production and sale of pure gold, gold bar and gold sheet should also be exempted from commercial tax because gold is used like currency on the global market. “By exempting gold, the domestic gold market will develop and contribute to the stability of the value of money,” he said.
If gold is exempted from commercial tax, it can help establish the international gold market in the country, local traders can sell gold on the domestic market at international prices and people can use gold like currency, he said.
The plan is under consideration in the Hluttaw and it will next proceed to the discussion or amendments stage.