Colombian Prez announces withdrawal of tax reform plan

Bogota, May 3 (IANS) Colombian President Ivan Duque said that he has asked Congress to withdraw the tax reform bill presented by his government after widespread protests against the legislation erupted in the country over the last four days.”I have asked the Congress of the Republic to withdraw the project filed by the Ministry of Finance and urgently process a new project that results from a consensus, and thus avoid financial uncertainty,” Xinhua news agency quoted the President as saying on Sunday.Duque said the presentation of the tax reform was meant to give “fiscal stability to the country, protect social programs for the most vulnerable and generate conditions for growth” after the Covid-19 pandemic.”The (tax) reform is not a whim; the reform is a necessity. To withdraw it or not was not the issue. The real issue is being able to guarantee the continuity of social programs,” said Duque.According to the President, there will be no increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) for goods and services, nor will “the existing rules be changed”.”The purpose of building a solidarity consensus should allow us to protect the most vulnerable, protect the nation’s finances, protect the reactivation of our country, as I expressed on Friday (April 30),” he said.Duque said on April 30 that the new tax reform bill would need the consensus of citizens and Congress to be approved urgently.The next day, he announced that members of the armed forces will continue to provide assistance to police in several cities to avoid further looting. –IANSksk/

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