VAT Bill passed

26 October 2016 07:37 pm - 26     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Value Added Tax (VAT) which received public criticism will now come into force, as Parliament passed the legislation with a comfortable majority today.

The Valued Added Tax (Amendment) Bill was taken up for debate in the House after the Supreme Court determined that its provisions were consistent with the Constitution.

After a lengthy debate involving arguments and counter arguments it was put to the vote -- as the Joint Opposition called for a division by name.

It was passed with 112 votes for and 46 against during the second reading. 65 MPs were absent during the vote. As per the procedure, it was referred to the committee stage for the incorporation of amendments.

Joint Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardane moved an amendment calling for the exemption of health services from VAT. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake declined to accept it saying VAT would be imposed only on medical consultation fees and in-house hospital charges. He said he would issue the necessary regulations under the bill later.

During the third reading, a division was called for again. At that time, there were 76 votes for it and 23 against. The rest of the members who had voted during the second reading had left the chamber by that time.

Along with the Joint Opposition, the JVP also voted against the Bill. However, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which is the main Opposition party was absent during the vote. The Joint Opposition MPs were seen wearing black bands around their necks or on their arms as a mark of protest against the VAT hike.

Minister Karunanayake said 81 goods and services would be exempt from VAT. He said some opposition members had created a misconception. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)

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  Comments - 26

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  • Flanker.. Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:56 AM

    Don't kill the sick they need redress to get over their ailment and get to their family.

    MP Thursday, 27 October 2016 12:31 PM

    So you and we will get a good welfare status- get ready to get it in your next birth!

    shnathapriya Thursday, 27 October 2016 12:31 PM

    you know how much these politicians were interested in settling out these so called loans. they made every attempt to win the election to settle this loans. they put up posters, organized rallies spent out of pocket to grab the power and setlle these loans for you and me

    kumara Thursday, 27 October 2016 12:34 PM

    Why should ordinary citizens pay to settle loans taken by the previous regime? Only a small amount was spent on projects and balance was taken by these politicians. Force the politicians pay, not the citizens..

    maha Thursday, 27 October 2016 01:36 PM

    It's time to pay the Fiddler for MR's mismanagement of the previous gov't high-rollers.

    Jagath Leanage Wednesday, 26 October 2016 07:52 PM

    We will reply in next election for passing this bill.

    lkboy Wednesday, 26 October 2016 07:53 PM

    All merchants who charge VAT without giving registration number should be checked and arrested by authorities. Otherwise this will be a burden on the people.

    rohan Thursday, 27 October 2016 03:11 AM

    65 MPs absent for the vote and this is a critical Isisford the people of Sri Lanka. wow why these people come begging for votes during elections this vote must have been cancelled if 65 MPs absent. via DM Android App

    Cheers Thursday, 27 October 2016 05:50 AM

    Thanks to this most notorious politicians whom we have selected to fill their buckets and we will look after all of you in all future elections and will change the political culture in Sri Lanka and show the prison to all crooks through justice

    MUSA Thursday, 27 October 2016 05:55 AM

    VAT SHOULD NOT BE CHARGED ON on medical consultation fees and in-house hospital charges......

    Eggy Thursday, 27 October 2016 06:25 AM

    The invoice, receipt or any other document of anyone that charges VAT should have their registration number on the documents, also showing the amount of VAT charged.

    Premalal Thursday, 27 October 2016 06:28 AM

    Probably the only country in the world which considers sickness as a luxury.

    Lal Thursday, 27 October 2016 07:10 AM

    By voting MR who built massive white elephants with high interest loans that resulted in this?

    MP Thursday, 27 October 2016 06:31 PM

    This government has come to rule the country, to suck the blood of the people.

    Punny Pellow Thursday, 27 October 2016 07:38 AM

    WHAT happened to the 65 mps when VAT was called!!?

    SM Thursday, 27 October 2016 07:58 AM

    People of limited intelligence don't understand that when one government borrows, steals, and spends on white elephant projects of empty ports and highways, those loan has to be repaid at some time.

    Yeti Thursday, 27 October 2016 08:02 AM

    Declare this day a day of mourning!!!

    Ihale Thursday, 27 October 2016 08:04 AM

    We condemn the Decision to increase the VAT at the blessings of UNP & SLFP parliamentarians. They came to power for making High Income Holders but what has happened they exploited the innocent people for MPs privileges.Shame on You Good Governance Regime... via DM Android App

    Gayan Perera Thursday, 27 October 2016 09:32 AM

    Most Sri Lankans don't understand that this is an important step towards a government that doesn't need to borrow money from the Chinese and lie about things the way the previous government was handling things. Any healthy country has a tax system in place and 15% is on the low end.

    Kaboos Thursday, 27 October 2016 10:11 AM

    the government announced it is only a temporary period. Please indicate till when additional 4 percent will be charged./

    shanthapriya Thursday, 27 October 2016 10:41 AM

    I am at a private hospital and underwent a surgery last night. it went on from 11.45 pm to 12.45 amwill i have to pay the additional vat. i will pay only the agreed amount at the admission

    MP Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:07 AM

    People incur a huge bill on medical consultation already. This government is a curse to ordinary average poor people.People of this country should teach a good lesson to this government at the next election,

    dham Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:16 AM

    Provide more info how much was collect through VAT and with 40% jump where will be utilized public need distribution should be black and white . via DM Android App

    Joda Akbar Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:18 AM

    Great i think. Look at the welfare states in europa, they got high taxes so they can give welfare to theire people and many moore to.MR goverment destroyd the SL economy, by being thugs, look at the young one....

    Better Future Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:24 AM

    Government should have focused on direct taxes rather than put burden on the poor and haven't seen any enhancements taken to curb tax evasion.

    Leo Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:27 AM

    This is not a day or mourning. Finally a government has emerged trying to pay the exorbitant loans we have courtesy of MR. If steps were not taken to start settling these loans it would be my children who have to bare this burden. I rather take it on than having our future suffer. via DM Android App


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