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Wolesi Jirga rejects decree imposing 10pc tax on phone users

Wolesi Jirga rejects decree imposing 10pc tax on phone users

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Oct 14, 2015 - 15:31

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, or lower house of parliament, on Wednesday rejected with a majority vote a presidential decree imposing a 10 percent tax on cell phone-users.

The decree was endorsed by the Council of Ministers during the parliament’s summer recess, said Qais Hassan, the Wolesi Jirga’s telecommunication commission head, who placed the order before the house.

Hassan claimed the decree was violative of Article 79 of the constitution. Some other lawmakers also said the presidential action was in conflict with the constitution. Of the 125 public representatives present, 123 rejected the decree.

Article 79 says: “During the recess of lawmakers, the government shall, in case of an immediate need, issue legislative decrees except in matters related to budget and financial affairs. Legislative decrees, after endorsement by the president, shall acquire the force of law.”

The article adds the legislative decrees shall be presented to the parliament within 30 days of convening of its first session. If rejected by the parliament, they become void.

At the end of their summer recess, the parliamentarians returned to work on September 6.

Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Abdul Razzaq Wahidi had said on October 3 the government had earned more than 83 million afghanis in new taxes on cell phone users.

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