English | Dzongkha Monday, July 6, 2020

NC proposes changing the title of Property Tax Bill to Property Ownership Transfer Tax Bill

Feb 13, 2020

While discussing the Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020, members of the National Council recommended changing the title of the Bill. The title, members said, mismatches the content of the Bill.

The title as proposed by the National Assembly is the Property Tax Act of Bhutan once the Bill gets endorsed. The Members of Parliament (MP) of the National Council, however, suggested that the title should change as per the content’s relevancy.

“Today when we look into this Bill, the title says Property Tax Amendment Bill but when we take a look into the content, the provision is all about the transfer of ownership of the property. I suggest the government that this provision should be included when the government comes up with a comprehensive Tax Bill. In the introduction, it clearly says about the Bill. So my recommendation is that instead of ‘Property Tax Bill’, it should be ‘Property Ownership Transfer Tax Bill’ or Act,” recommended Ugyen Namgay, the Haa MP.

“There are three taxes like annual tax, property tax and property ownership transfer tax. In Property Tax Bill, all these should come together whereas in this Bill the content is just about ownership transfer tax. So when comprehensive property tax comes later, we will not misunderstand this Bill with the one right now. We could also club this Bill together with the comprehensive now,” added Tempa Dorji, the Lhuentse MP.

“It should be a Property Transfer Tax Act. Next time when the government comes up with the Property Tax Bill, they can club together,” shares¬†Dorji Khandu, the Gasa MP.

Some suggested the Bill should be kept aside for now if it is not urgent.

“Yesterday, the Finance Minister said that a comprehensive Property Tax Bill will come sooner. If this is the case I feel that this book is very small and contains only two per cent that a comprehensive Property Tax Bill will have. If this Bill is not immediate and urgent, I want to ask if there really is a need for this Bill. We have only five or six months. We already have this Bill from before. On top of that, the immediate one is on the vehicle one,” suggested Sangay Dorji, the Chhukha MP.

The Economic Affairs Committee will take the recommendations into consideration and make the changes before presenting it again to the House for the final endorsement.

Samten Dolkar

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