The government’s pledge to do away with five percent voucher tax will come under a package with major tax reforms, the finance minister said at a press meet yesterday.

Lyonpo Namgay Tshering said the issue was already discussed and the government is taking it seriously because this was not only DNT’s pledge made to the public but, one of the pledges made by all political parties.

“We have discussed it in the cabinet,” Lyonpo said. “Since we are coming up with a major reform in taxation, the finance ministry is closely looking into broadening the tax base.”

In doing so, Lyonpo said that the ministry is also working on introducing GST in Bhutan. “All these tax reforms will come under a package with major tax reform.”

The government, Lyonpo said was also aware of the annual revenue loss of about Nu 200 million annually if it does away with the five percent voucher tax. “We are also looking at how we can make up for the revenue loss if we implement that.”

On if the issue would be discussed in the ongoing parliament session, foreign minister Dr Tandi Dorji said it would not be taken up in this session. “Whenever these national issues are raised, careful review and analysis have to be done.”

Lyonpo Tandi Dorji said that on this matter, the finance ministry has done an excellent analysis which was presented to the cabinet. “Because it involves taxes, it is being deferred until the whole tax reform can be made.”

Such an exercise, he said is not a simple thing and it would take a few months or a year. “At least in the first one year or the second year, these tax reform is taking place and whenever the finance ministry is ready, it will be shared with you.”

Dechen Tshomo