Members inside the National Parliament during the debates. Photo credit: National Parliament of Solomon Islands.

Members inside the National Parliament during the debates. Photo credit: National Parliament of Solomon Islands.

A total of 10 Bills has been passed in the current sitting of Parliament, as of yesterday.

These include the Magistrates’ Courts Amendment Bill, the Criminal Procedure Code Amendment Bill and the 2013 Supplementary Appropriation Bill.

The Constitution Amendment Bill, the Constitutional Offices- terms and Conditions of Service and Judicial Reform Amendment Bill and the 2014 Supplementary Appropriation Bill, are other Bills passed to date.

Parliament also passed the Income Tax Amendment Bill, Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, Political Parties Integrity Bill and the Sales Tax Amendment Bill.

Two Bills are still before the House.

These are the Land and Titles Amendment Bill 2014, and the Business Names Bill 2014.

Meanwhile, Parliament has passed the Lands and Titles amendment Bill – a bill that seeks to change the authoritative power to allocate crown land in Solomon Islands.

Presenting the Bill yesterday afternoon, Minister for Lands and Housing Joseph Onika said since the enactment of the Lands and Titles Act, the power to allocate an interest in crown land is vested in the Commissioner of Lands.

Minister Onika said the current Bill is to change the current arrangement, and confer those powers to a Land Board.

He says the Bill seeks to improve the land administration system by granting the power to allocate and distribute an interest in land to a board rather than to an individual.

Meanwhile in its recommendation, the Bills and Legislation Committee said it is greatly concerned that other aspects of land administration system are equally in dire need of reform.

It says Urban quartering, land zoning, Honiara City boundaries, Waste disposal, environmental degradation are pressing issues that need urgent attention for reform.

Another Bill alsopassed is the Sales Tax Amendment Bill 2014.

Presenting the Bill to Parliament, Finance Minister Rick Hou said the amendment seeks to introduce the provisions for pre-payment of Sales tax, at the first point of sale for certain goods and services.

Minister Hou says this will ensure the Government collects the right amount of tax at a stage where collection is most appropriate.

He says this will reduce collection and compliance costs.

SIBC news understands the Sales Tax Amendment Act will apply to sales of local and overseas telecommunication services, and to the sales of petrol and diesel from premises licensed under the Petroleum Rules.

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