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The Finance Bill, 2018 Referred back to the National Assembly by H.E. the President

On August 30, 2018, the National Assembly passed the Finance Bill, 2018.  Thereafter, the Bill was presented for Assent to H.E. the President in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the National Assembly Standing Orders. However, H. E. the President, by way of a Memorandum, has since referred the Bill back to the National Assembly for reconsideration, pursuant to the provisions of Article 115(1)(b) of the Constitution.

H.E. the President has expressed reservations on—

(i)      Clause 2 of the Bill on the definition of the term “winnings” for purposes of taxation;

(ii)    Clause 18 of the Bill on deferral of the commencement date for the Value Added Tax on petroleum products;

(iii)   Clause 31 of the Bill on Excise Duty proposed to be levied on sugar confectionery and fees charged for money transfer services;

(iv) Amendments to the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act on the rates of taxation for betting, gaming, lotteries and prize competitions;

(v)   Clause 68  of the original Bill on the proposed contributory scheme to National Housing Development Fund to enable access to affordable housing;

(vi) Amendments to PART VII of the Bill relating to the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act on an anti-adulteration levy to be charged on kerosene imported into the country for home use; and,

(vii)   Recommendation for consequential amendments to the Appropriations Act, 2018 required to bridge the financing gap in accordance with section 40(5) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012.

Consequently, the President recommends amendments to the said clauses and the Bill.

The President’s Memorandum was conveyed to the House during the Special Sitting held on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 and was accordingly committed to the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning for consideration. The Committee is required to table its report during the morning Sitting of Thursday, September 20, 2018 when the House is expected to consider the President’s Reservations.