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Speaker's Announcement on 'Special Goods and Services Tax' Bill

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The Supreme Court has determined that several clauses of the proposed Special Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill are inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court has informed the Parliament that the Special Goods and Services Tax Bill (GST) should be passed with a 2/3 majority and a referendum.
The determination of the Supreme Court was delivered by the Speaker of House Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena when Parliament convened this morning.
Speaker Mahinda Abeywardena noted that he received the determination of the Supreme Court pertaining to the GST Bill after it was challenged under the provisions of Article 121 of the Constitution.
The Speaker said several clauses of the Bill are independently and jointly inconsistent with the Constitution.
“The Court has further stated that since it would be impracticable to suggest clause specific amendments to the Clauses of the Bill that have been found to be inconsistent with the Constitution as it would fundamentally alter the basic nature and structure of the Bill and become inconsistent with the declared objectives of the Bill, the Court while exercising the discretion conferred on it by the Constitution will refrain from determining the manner in which the afore-stated Clauses 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9(1) could be amended so as to alter such Clauses to become consistent with the Constitution.”
The Speaker ordered that the Determination of the Supreme Court be printed in the Official Report of today’s proceedings of the House.
The Special Goods and Services Tax Bill was presented in Parliament on the 20th of January.
The Special GST Bill was presented to provide for the imposition of a special goods and services tax, in lieu of the sums chargeable on specified goods and services by way of tax, duty, levy, or any other charge imposed by law; to promote self-compliance in the payment of taxes in order to ensure greater efficiency in relation to the collection and administration or such taxes and related matters.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2022 – 11:28

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