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 Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page - thanhtoo@mm­ HTOO THANT

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.

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