Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. FILE Picture: Matthews Baloyi / ANA
CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has expanded the scope of a panel of experts appointed to review the current list of items exempt from value-added tax (VAT) charges.

"The amended Terms of Reference allows the Panel more flexibility to make proposals that may alter the fiscal framework for the 2019/20 financial year and beyond, as they can be taken into account in the 2019 February Budget ," National Treasury said in a statement.

The panel was appointed after Treasury increased VAT from 14 to 15 percent in April to help raise an additional R36 billion as South Africa tries to narrow its budget deficit.

The panel is tasked with looking at the impact of the VAT increase on poor and low-income households and how this could be mitigated through measures such as increasing the basket of 19 items exempt from VAT.

"The sections relating to discussion on potential government expenditure programmes that can assist poor and low-income households have also been broadened, to allow further comments and suggestions from the Panel," the National Treasury statement said.

The deadline for public submissions was shifted to June 1 while the committee has been given an extra month until July 31 to submit a final report to Nene. 

- African News Agency