English | Dzongkha Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Lift the ban on import of vehicles says Opposition

Jan 20, 2011

The Opposition, yesterday, asked the judiciary to intervene and lift the temporary ban on the import of vehicles. Opposition member Damchoe Dorji said the ban has affected potential buyers and the business of the car dealers. He was speaking at the second hearing in the Supreme Court on the government’s tax revision on vehicles. This is the first constitutional case to be tried in a court of law.

The opposition argues that the tax revision is unconstitutional because it was not discussed and approved by the parliament. It is quoting section 9 of the Public Finance Act of Bhutan 2007 which states that raising of revenues through taxes shall be authorised by parliament and section 14 (1) of the Constitution which states that taxes, fees and other forms of levies shall not be imposed or altered except by law.

The government however says the revision is constitutional since the Sales Tax, Customs and Excise Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2000 allows the government to revise and raise sale tax, customs and excise duty.

In November the High Court decided that the tax revision was unlawful. The government appealed to the Supreme Court.

The import of vehicles was temporarily suspended pending the Supreme Court’s verdict.

The next hearing is scheduled for January 27.

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