Parliamentarian Eran Wickramaratne yesterday (09) submitted a private members’ bill to amend the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act to transfer the powers vested in the Minister of Finance to Parliament.

The new bill proposes that any order made by the Minister of Finance shall come into force only upon the approval of the regulation by Parliament.

As of now, the finance minister has the power to impose, remove, increase, or reduce the VAT levy at his whim via Gazette notifications overnight. The gazette needs parliamentary approval only after three months. In the past, this system had paved the way for corruption favouring certain individuals and companies supportive of the ruling elite.