Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans told to pay up on guest­house tax

The Myanmar Times - - News - HTOO THANT thanhtoo@mm­times.com SWAN YE HTUT swanye­htut@mm­times.com

LAW­MAK­ERS dorm­ing in sta­te­owned ac­com­mo­da­tion in the cap­i­tal will now be sub­ject to a 5 per­cent com­mer­cial tax, ac­cord­ing to the Nay Pyi Taw City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee.

The Se­bin guest­house, which puts up many law­mak­ers, is not ex­empt from tax law, the city author­ity told par­lia­men­tar­i­ans.

Known among some MPs as “Heart­break Ho­tel” for its aus­tere con­di­tions, the guest­house is owned by the com­mit­tee, mak­ing it a gov­ern­ment fa­cil­ity.

The com­mer­cial tax will be col­lected from MPs and for­warded to the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Depart­ment, the com­mit­tee said.

“The Nay Pyi Taw City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee an­nounced on July 26 that MPs stay­ing at the guest­house must pay com­mer­cial tax of 5pc start­ing on Au­gust 1,” said U Min Thein, a Pyithu Hlut­taw rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Man­dalay Re­gion (NLD; Ngazun).

MPs liv­ing in the mu­nic­i­pal guest­house are charged K5000 per day and must pay a K250 per diem tax, amount­ing to about K7000 for one month.

Some MPs said if tax is paid on the prop­erty, the com­mit­tee should im­prove ser­vices of­fered at the com­pound.

“If we must pay taxes like we are tak­ing ser­vices from the mu­nic­i­pal guest­house, then I want them to pro­vide bet­ter ser­vices,” said Sai Thiha Kyaw from the Shan Na­tion­al­i­ties League for Democ­racy (Mongyai).

Other MPs ac­knowl­edged that as the gov­ern­ment at­tempts to set the tax col­lec­tion sys­tem straight, civil ser­vants and elected par­lia­men­tar­i­ans should be lead­ing by ex­am­ple.

“Ev­ery­one has to pay taxes. The MPs should not be ex­empt. Now is the time for set­ting in place a proper tax­a­tion sys­tem for the coun­try,” said U Myat Nyan Soe (NLD; Yangon 3).

Daw Khin San Hlaing (NLD; Palae) said, “MPs are role mod­els for the pub­lic and so this tax should be car­ried out.”

Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans stay­ing at the Se­bin guest­house have pre­vi­ously com­plained of re­stric­tions at the gov­ern­ment-owned fa­cil­ity, in­clud­ing re­quire­ments to regis­ter fam­ily guests and a pro­hi­bi­tion on po­lit­i­cal dis­cus­sions and train­ings at the com­pound.

– Trans­la­tion by Khine Thazin Han

Photo: AFP

Yangon Re­gion Chief Min­is­ter U Phyo Min Thein, then a lower house MP, reads a jour­nal at the Se­bin guest­house in Nay Pyi Taw on Au­gust 24, 2015.

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