Changes introduced in upcoming budget ‘will not be too drastic’

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Minister for Economic Prof. Biman Prasad meets with stakeholders after the budget consultation at Nadi Civic Centre. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Prof Biman Prasad says changes that will be introduced in the upcoming 2023-2024 National Budget “will not be too drastic”.

Speaking at a national budget consultation in Lautoka this week, he also said the three different rates of VAT (value added tax) would not exist once the new budget came into effect.

Prof Prasad was responding to submissions from Lautoka Chamber of Commerce and Industries treasurer Pranil Krishna who expressed concern over the three different tax systems charged by Government. “I can assure you that it won’t be three rates anymore after the budget,” the Deputy PM said.

“We are toying with the idea and we are looking at the figures and the pros and cons of having one or two but it certainly won’t be three.”

Prof Prasad also assured the participants that the changes introduced in the next budget would not be drastic.

“This budget we want to make sure that we don’t take a drastic step in changing things where we might disrupt the recovery system.

“We want to make sure that we support the recovery and we listen to the submissions. Some we will be able to do it in this budget some we will plan it for next year.

“We want to do it properly so that the unintended consequences can be avoided off some of those decisions because there will be equally others who would argue that the duty on that would be appropriate.”

While making submissions, LCCI treasurer Mr Krishna urged Government to implement a single tax system.

“The VAT percentage which is three different systems is confusing to most businesses,” he said.

“We would like to request if one percentage be imposed whether it is nine, 12.5 or 15 per cent.

“Having zero, nine and 15 percentage VAT is confusing to all businesses especially when we are doing our accounting for VAT.”

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