Several clauses inconsistent with Constitution: Speaker

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday in Parliament announced that the Supreme Court has determined that several Clauses in the Inland Revenue Bill are inconsistent with the Constitution.

The Supreme Court, observing that the Clause 200 of the Bill is inconsistent with the Constitution, has ruled that it should either be passed with a special majority in Parliament or approved by the people at a referendum.

The Supreme Court has also informed that the Clauses 97, 98, 101 and 167 are inconsistent with the Constitution and those should either be amended as given in the determination or be passed only with a special majority in Parliament.

Sections 97,98 and 101 of the Bill refer to administration provisions and Section 167 refers to recovery of tax. The Section 200 refers to a Special Provision on interpretation of Act and avoidance of doubts.

The Government presented the Inland Revenue Bill in Parliament for the first reading on July 5. The Bill is to provide for the imposition of Income Tax for any year of assessment commencing on or after April 1, 2017.

The Bill, among other things, introduces a new income tax structure and is aimed at closing existing loopholes in revenue collection. 

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