SJB, JVP petition against proposed Finance Bill
By Nabiya Vaffoor
The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and the JVP filed separate petitions in the Supreme Court against the proposed Finance Bill. The Bill presented in Parliament by the Finance Minister on 20 July, proposes amnesties for the voluntarily disclosure of taxes that should be disclosed under the law. SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne had filed a petition with the Supreme Court, Friday (23).
He has filed a Special Determination Petition in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Bill titled ‘Finance’ which was placed on the Order Paper of Parliament on 20 July. The petitioner is seeking a declaration that several clauses of the Bill require approval by a public referendum and require a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
“The Bill encourages further tax evasion and will not secure a net benefit to the State. That would be discriminatory of taxpayers/ citizens who have already paid relevant taxes. Some clauses in Bill are arbitrary, irrational, and grossly unreasonable, contrary to the rule of law, public trust doctrine and sovereignty of the people.
The preamble of the Bill says that it is to enable persons to voluntarily disclose undisclosed taxable supplies, income and assets required to be disclosed under certain laws; to provide for the imposition of a tax on the taxable supplies, income and assets,” stated Wickramaratne on his social media account.
In the meantime, former JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi noted the Bill encourages nothing but money laundering. “If Makandhure Madhush, the drug lord, was alive he will also get a chance to invest all his black money in this country. The Parliament should legislate a provision which generally benefits the majority, but this Bill encourages nothing but money laundering.
If there are earnings that should be disclosed under the law it should be disclosed legally, taxes should be collected inside that legal frame. Just because the Government is lacking financial provisions, we cannot let them launder illegal earnings which was deprived from the taxpayers,” added Handunneththi. He expressed these views, Friday (23) speaking to the Media at the Supreme Court premises.