Bahrain: Religious concerns may delay “sin tax”

A parliamentary committee yesterday recommended that MPs should block the introduction of a selective tax on harmful products, which would initially double the price of tobacco and energy drinks and result in a 50% increase in the price of soft drinks.

It highlighted a need for further clarification and approval from Islamic scholars, argued there was no need to fast-track the legislation and questioned why it had taken the government almost nine months to present it to the National Assembly, despite endorsing the GCC plan on February 1. (Authorities drafted the tax legislation as part of a broader GCC agreement that will see similar tax regimes rolled out across the Gulf).

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Parliament is due to vote tomorrow, but concerns expressed by its financial and economic affairs committee could result in MPs rejecting the tax at least in the short term.

Source Credit: Gulf Daily News

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