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Government rebuts Opposition’s accusation on imported books’ tax

Aug 14, 2015

Government rebuts Opposition’s accusation on imported books’ taxThe government says it has neither violated the provisions of the Constitution nor has ignored the findings of the Constitutional case in granting exemption of sales and customs duty on imported books.

“Exemption of customs duty and sales tax on all books imported during 2015 violates the Constitution,” the Opposition had said.

Today’s press release from the government says the government in granting the tax exemption did not abolish the customs and sales tax on the import of books in totality as incentive are time-bound and public interest targeted.

“The taxation on books has only been suspended for a year to dutifully commemorate the Reading Year 2013 in the interest of General Public.”

The press release states the government has exempted sales tax and customs duty on imported books on the basis of Sales Tax, Customs and Excise Act. It says, “On the satisfaction and in the public interest, the Ministry of Finance may exempt a person from payment of Bhutan Sales Tax.”

The release also says this is not the first time the government has granted fiscal incentives to boost private sector and economic growth.

“The previous government had considered and granted several cases of tax exemptions and tax holiday, which, by their own act would be unconstitutional if one was to apply current reasoning about the issue.”

In July, the government had exempted the 20 percent custom duty after the bookstore owners in Thimphu put up an appeal letter to the Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay to allow them to continue importing books from India without the customs duty and sales tax.

1 Comment for “Government rebuts Opposition’s accusation on imported books’ tax”

  1. Jigme Dorje

    Sure. Why not? After all, we read all the books that are in the country. Also, if MPs import cars without certain taxes, what’s the big deal with books? Further, how come no one is making noise about ‘quotas’ for duty free alcohol?

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