Parliament OKs 14 consequential Bills

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama shares a light moment with Jyotishna Deepa Krishna during break between session at Parliament yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

FOURTEEN consequential Bills that will give effect to the 2018/2019 National Budget was passed by Parliament yesterday.

Members of Parliament were involved in a lengthy debate over the Bills, but in the end the Opposition agreed to have the Bills passed, though the National Federation Party opposed four.

The Bill passed yesterday were to amend the following Acts:
* Income Tax Act 2015;
* Value Added Tax Act 1991;
* Service Turnover Tax Act 2012;
* Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy Act 2015;
* Fiji Revenue and Customs Services Act 1998;
* Excise Act 1986;
* Customs Act 1986;
* Customs Tariff Act 1986;
* Employment Relations Act 2007;
* Telecommunications Act 2018;
* Drainage Act 1961;
* Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Act 2014;
* Parliament Retirement Allowance Act 1989; and,
* Tax Administration Bill 2018.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, in his address to Parliament, said the Bills were not substantially new.

“I would urge that the members support these Bills,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“If these Bills are not passed there is no point in passing the budget, because these amendments bring revenue, give incentives and it gives effect to the entire budget.

“If you look at the Bills they are not substantially new. Most of them as it says amendments to the existing Bills.”

Opposition MP Semesa Karavaki, on behalf of the Opposition members, agreed for the Bills to be passed.

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