Sri Lanka court returns VAT ‘bill’ to House

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has refused to consider the VAT amendment bill because the finance minister had failed to follow due process in presenting it to parliament, the Speaker announced Tuesday.

Karu Jayasuriya said the highest court did not give a ruling on the constitutionality of the bill because it had not been presented in line with Article 152 of the constitution which requires Cabinet sanction.

Based on the technicality that mandatory cabinet approval had not been signified when the bill was presented, the court was not going into the constitutionality of the amendment bill in line.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the House that he will re-present the bill.

Despite the existence of a parliament Sri Lanka has been practicing prerogative taxation for several decades, in a ‘tax first aks approval later’ strategy. (COLOMBO, Aug 9, 2016)

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