The Senate Committee on Finance says it will invite the Minister of Finance and the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS) to give details on reasons for the proposed increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).
The Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Solomon Adeola, made the disclosure in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Mr Kayode Odunaro, in Abuja on Thursday, September 12.
Adeola said the invitation was hinged on the proposed plan to increase VAT from 5 per cent to 7.2 per cent.
Adeola, said the proposed increase in VAT had generated mixed reactions among the public on its possible effects on living standards and the economy.
“We are glad that the minister of finance indicated that the VAT act will have to be amended for the increase to take effect.
“But we are concerned about the current economic situation of the country as it affects the generality of the people.”
The chairman said the interaction with the two key officials of Federal Government would form part of the basis for possible amendments of the VAT Act.
According to him, the meeting will further assuage any sentiments against the proposed VAT increase, if eventually the act is amended.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed had after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday spoken on the proposed plan to increase VAT.
She revealed that the Council also approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2020 to 2022. The MTEF, she disclosed, would guide the implementation of the 2020 Budget. Further, she noted that FEC approved the MTEF and Fiscal Strategic Paper (MTEF/FSP) for 2020 to 2022.
The Minister said the next step was to present the document to the National Assembly for consideration.
“The expenditure for the year 2020 is in the total sum of N10.07 trillion. This is three per cent less than the approved expenditure in the 2019 budget that has been passed into law.
“The total expenditure includes statutory transfers, non-debt recurrent expenditure such as salaries and pensions. Also included is the social intervention programme,’’ she said.