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MP: Fiji Leads Region in Modernisation of Laws

  Fiji is way ahead in the region in the modernisation of laws and law reforms, says Government Whip Ashneel Sudhakar. He said he was in Brussels, Belgium, earlier last
13 Dec 2015 19:03
MP: Fiji Leads Region in Modernisation of Laws
Government Whip and lawyer Ashneel Sudhakar. Photo: DEPTFO News

 

Fiji is way ahead in the region in the modernisation of laws and law reforms, says Government Whip Ashneel Sudhakar.

He said he was in Brussels, Belgium, earlier last week for the ACP/EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

And before that he was in Papua New Guinea for an international Human Rights Convention where Fiji’s law reforms were highly appreciated.

“There are important aspects of law reform,” Mr Sudhakar  said.

“One is to examine the existing laws with the aim of enhancing justice or efficiency and the other is to arrest a particular mischief that may be escaping the claws of the law.

“I will use the example from the Income Tax Laws to demonstrate the issues of tax evasion, avoidance and compliance,” he said during the 17th Attorney-General’s Conference at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa in Natadola.

“To encourage compliance the Government has reduced income tax from 31 per cent between 18-20 per cent in the recent years.

“As announced in next year’s budget Value Added Tax (VAT) will also be reduced from 15 per cent to 9 per cent.

“It is these types of reforms which make compliance easier. We have seen that when taxes are reduced people become more willing taxpayers and do not want to go into depths to find ways to avoid or evade taxes.

“We all admit that none of us are too fond of paying taxes but we do it since it’s is an obligation and that is why my friends from FRCA, who are sitting here, are not much loved.

“This is where we start looking at ways to avoid or evade taxes for ourselves and for our clients.

“We have heard His Excellency say yesterday that paying taxes is not just a duty. It is a shared national interest. And legal means to avoid taxes should not be confused with evasion.”

Editing by: Ranoba Baoa

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