Tax Hike vote delayed, Pro-Gov’t MP’s criticize Speaker

Speaker of Parliament, Mohammed Nasheed. | Photo: Majlis

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

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.

During today’s session, the Speaker of Parliament, Mohammed Nasheed, said the rules of the parliament require votes can be taken on a matters that has been completed in the day’s work.

The work that has been completed today is the work on the resolution moved by Dangethi MP Mohammed Nazim on the Chagos issue.

“I now have a vote on the resolution [Chagos issue]. I thought the honorable members would debate the tax bill report as well. However, that is not what happened today,” Speaker Nasheed said.

Following this statement by Speaker Nasheed,

When Nasheed said this some pro-government MDP MPs in parliament have expressed their dissatisfaction with him. However, regardless of the members’ protest, President Nasheed took vote for only the Chagos resolution. He then concluded today’s session by announcing that a session would be held tomorrow.

The amendment to the Increase GST and TGST has been passed by the whole house committee and will then have to be passed by the House. The Act will come into force after the President ratifies the bill.

The governments reason for the tax increase is to increase the revenue received by the state to cover the recurrent expenditure.

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