Parliament session cut short without taking Tax Hike Bill vote

Parliament of Maldives | Photo: Majlis

Malé, Maldives – Todays session of Parliament has been concluded without taking the vote on government’s proposal to increase GST and TGST.

The government has proposed to increase GST and TGST from January next year. Amendment proposes that TGST to be increased from 12 percent to 16 percent and GST from 6 percent to 8 percent.

Parliament did not decide on the tax hike amendment due to insufficient quorum.

After the other businesses was concluded, Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef, who was presiding as the Speaker for the day opened the floor for debate on the report of the whole house committee on the Tax Bill, which was at the back of the agenda.

However, none of the members of the pro-government majority requested the opportunity to debate.

As a general rule, if no member has requested the opportunity to debate, the Speaker shall declare the debate over and ask for a vote on the passage of the bill.

Announcing that there was no member who wished to debate the bill, MP Hassan Afeef said there was no quorum required to vote on the bill. He did not say how many members were present at the end of the session.

As soon as this was announced it, the members of Parliament started shouting in the House, but, ignoring that, Afeef announced that the session would be held tomorrow.

Some members of the Speaker’s Mohammed Nasheed faction also refuse to pass the tax bill. The opposition PPM/PNC also expressed serious concern over the issue in parliament today.

In addition, PPM members were protesting outside the parliament against the passage of the tax bill.