Loss of quorum not the reason for not voting on tax bill: MP Usham

Villimale' MP Mohamed Usham has said the Parliament did not ask for a vote on the tax increase amendment because of loss of quorum.

The GST hike bill was moved by Ihavandhoo MP Mohamed Shifau on behalf of the government. The government has proposed to increase TGST from 12 percent to 16 percent and GST from 6 percent to 8 percent. During the committee stage, the Whole House Committee approved the bill with 50 votes in favor. 19 members voted against it.

At Monday's Parliament Sitting, MP Hussain Afeef, who was presiding as the Speaker for the day, said no amendments had been proposed to the report prepared by the Parliament's Committee of the Whole House on the tax hike bill. He then opened the floor for debate for one hour. However, no member requested to debate the report.

Noting that no member requested to debate the bill, Hassan Afeef said the quorum required to vote on the bill was not present. However, he did not state the number of members present at that time. He then concluded the session.

MP Usham Monday claimed that the vote was not postponed due to lack of quorum. Usham said the presidency had acted in violation of the Parliament rules and said the vote cannot be announced without a third reading of the bill. The session ended without the vote bell ringing, he said.