The United National Party has challenged the legality of the proposed Special Goods and Services bill, before the Supreme Court.
The Attorney General has been cited as the Respondent in the petition filed by UNP Working Committee Members Attorney-at-Law Shehara Herath and Dinouk Colombage.
Petitioners have claimed the proposed GST bill will by-pass the sovereignty of Parliament.
Speaking at a press conference, UNP Working Committee member Dinouk Colombage claimed that the proposed GST bill will remove public finances and taxes from the purview of Parliament and place it under a Minister of the Government’s choosing.
Colombage added that under the GST bill the revenue earned from this tax will be collected in a separate account controlled by the Minister adding there will not be any oversight into the relevant account.
He further added that the Minister will now be empowered to manipulate the revenue of the Government.
Colombage also questioned whether the introduction of the GST would see a form of double taxation imposed on the public.
He said, “In other countries such as India, when GST was introduced VAT and other taxes were abolished. However, in Sri Lanka we will see both GST and VAT charged on services. The Government must immediately clarify what GST will be charged on and whether or not VAT will be abolished.”