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FINANCE SELECT COMMITTEE
21 June 2000
ADOPTION OF THE TAXATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL
Taxation Laws Amendment Bill
The Committee noted concern that they were not given a proper opportunity to engage with SARS about the Bill. All the members agreed to adopt the Bill and the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill was formally adopted.
The Committee waited until they had a quorum before they could proceed. Delegates from 5 provinces had to be present. The following members were present:
Mr Lucas (acting Chairperson)
Mr Kolweni (ANC)
Mr Makoela (ANC)
Mr Marais (ANC)
Mr Durr (ACDP)
Mr Theron (DP)
Dr Conroy (NNP)
The acting Chairperson noted that SARS had given the committee an informal briefing on 19 June. He stated however that he would have liked another opportunity to engage about the Bill.
Mr Durr agreed with the Chairperson that the 25 minute briefing [convened at short notice] which they had received was not long enough for them to grasp the complex issues raised in the Bill. He said that he had read the Bill but this had raised more questions for him than answers. If the Committee was in favour of voting for the Bill now then that would be fine with him but he would have preferred to have another opportunity to get a more comprehensive briefing. If problems arise from the application of the Bill then they as MPs would have to answer as to why they had supported the Bill. Dr Conroy (NNP) and Mr Theron (DP) supported this view.
Mr Theron noted the following concerns:
1. the taxation on foreign dividends
2. why the tax relief given to the fishing sector was not extended to the agricultural sector
3. airport departure tax. (he had heard reports that this was not lawful)
He said that these were concerns that his party would like addressed but the concerns would not keep them from supporting the Bill.
The Chairperson said that delegates from SARS could not be present because they had to attend an out of town management meeting. In any event they could not amend a money Bill so they would have to vote on it now.
Dr Conroy said that he could not understand what the purpose of their being present at the meeting was if they could not amend the Bill. Mr Marais noted that while they did not have the power to amend a money Bill, they could make suggestions and recommendations. Dr Conroy was satisfied with this explanation.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would note the following issues:
- the absence of the Department, and
- the fact that they had received a short briefing on the Bill only a few days before they had to vote on it.
Mr Marais said that he agreed that this should be raised and suggested that they submit a letter of concern to the Chairperson of the NCOP.
The Chairperson read the report and the members agreed to it. The Bill was formally adopted.
On a final note Dr Conroy noted that he had heard that Parliament would only reconvene on 11 September. He said that he could not understand this because they had so much work to do. Mr Marais said that this date was a tentative date and it would depend on the elections.
The meeting was adjourned.
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