1st July 2022 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

July 1, 2022 - 5 minutes read
KENYA

Treasury shuns law set to control goods prices

The Treasury will not invoke the law that allows the government to control the prices of essential goods in reaction to the surge in inflation.

Treasury Principal Secretary Julius Muia on Wednesday said the State will not cap the price of basic items in line with the Price Control (Essential Goods) Act, 2011 as a weapon to control the cost of living measure.

The Act, which was enacted during the tenure of the late President Mwai Kibaki, allows the Finance minister to set maximum prices of gazetted essential commodities upon consultation with the relevant industry.

Consumer prices have rocketed this year and inflation hit a 27-month high of 7.1 percent in May, raising the prospect that the State would for the second time use the law to control the cost of essential goods.

“Restricting prices is in the old times, we have gone to a competitive economy where we want freedom, we want suppliers to be able to compete so price controls is not something that is encouraged nowadays in the current way of doing business anywhere in the world,” Mr Muia told the Business Daily on Wednesday.

(Source: Business Daily)

TANZANIA

Selcom, Nala sign deal to facilitate international money transfers

Tanzanian residents can now receive remittances from the United Kingdom and the United States to their mobile money wallets and bank accounts instantly, thanks to partnership between two companies.

Payment service provider Selcom, signed the partnership agreement with a local financial technology (FinTech) firm Nala, to facilitate the incoming remittances into Tanzania.

With this partnership, Nala application users in the UK and US can now transfer money up to $5,000 or £5,000 a day, to several banks and mobile money wallets in Tanzania from the comfort of their homes, enhancing the inflow of diaspora capital into Tanzania.

The two companies are also working on the possibility to facilitate instant payment of bills directly from abroad, they said.

(Source: The Citizen)

UGANDA

Falsifying tax statements will cost your business Shs110m    

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has said taxpayers who provide false or misleading statements about their businesses will face a penalty of Shs110m. 

The penalty, which has been raised  from Shs4m, is part of the larger pool of penalties that will take effect on July 1 as a way of improving compliance. 

Other penalties relate to offences committed against the Electronic Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) and Digital Tax Stamps, which will require an offending taxpayer to pay 1,500 currency points or imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or both. 

Each currency point translates into Shs20,000, which means that such an offence committed under EFRIS and digital tax stamps will attract Shs30m.

Speaking at a regional taxpayer post budget engagement in Fort Portal City, Ms Diana Mwondha Kisaka, the URA acting commissioner domestic taxes, said the new penalties were among the tax amendments that will apply during the 2022/23 financial year. 

The amendments, she said, seek to improve revenue collections and enforce compliance given that there is a big mismatch between the number of Ugandans on the URA register and estimates of income generating activities.

(Source: The Monitor) 

RWANDA

National budget expected to boost economy, tame commodity prices

Parliament on June 29 approved the Rwf4,658.4 billion national budget for the next fiscal year which will start on July 1, by passing the Law determining the State Finances for the Financial Year 2022/23. 

Compared to the over 4,440.6 billion budget for the current fiscal year, which will end on June 30, next year’s government spending represents an increase of Rwf217.8 billion, or 4.9 percent.    

Members of the Chamber of Deputies’ Committee on National Budget and Patrimony said that while analysing the budget, they realised it is in line with boosting Rwanda’s economic growth, and responding to the rising prices of food, fuel and fertilsers among other key commodities as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war among other shocks. 

(Source: The New Times)

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia, Belgium Discuss on Ways to Strengthening Investment and Trade Relations

Ethiopian Ambassador to the Benelux countries and EU Institutions, Hirut Zemene conferred with Director of Africa & Middle East Department at AWEX (Wallonia Export and Foreign Investment Agency), Eric De Clercq and Area Manager for Africa at FIT (Flanders Investment & Trade), Lise Betjes.

The two sides discussed on ways of strengthening cooperation in trade and investment between the two friendly countries, Ethiopia and Belgium.

They further exchanged views to promote sectors, such as manufacturing, agro-processing, logistic, renewable energy and tourism, among many others.

Lauding the representatives for their unreserved efforts in promoting the business and investment links between the two friendly countries, Ambassador Hirut expressed her views on how to further strengthen investment and trade links between the two countries, particularly in the Wallonia and Flanders Regions of Belgium.

(Source: Ethiopia News Agency)

SUDAN

Military coup has cost Sudan $4.4 bn in suspended aid

Sudan has lost $4.364 billion in aid pledged by the international community, in the eight months since the October 2021 military coup d’état, according to Faroug Kembereisi, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).

In a statement via social media, Kembereisi says that only $268 million in aid was implemented, out of $4.643 billion pledged, which represents a loss to the country of 94 percent.

He said that the World Bank and others committed an amount of $760 million during the period in favour of the Samarat family support programme, of which only $181 million has been disbursed.

The US Agency for International Development has also suspended its specified commitment of $2.595 billion in full. The projects affected include irrigation, agriculture, small farmers, energy, water, improving statistics) and include $500 million in direct budget support.

Kembereisi explained that the total planned US support, including wheat, during the last eight months amounted to $1.288 billion, of which $87 million was implemented.

Immediately following the October 25, 2021, military coup d’état, the World Bank announced the suspension of all aid to Sudan and halted decisions on any new operations in the country.

(Source: Radio Dabanga)

SOMALIA

Drought And National Audit Office Meets On Drought Relief Activities

The meeting, which took place at the National Audit Office, discussed ways in which the Office of the Auditor-General can assist in the smooth running of drought relief efforts and the transfer of administrative and procedural challenges to government agencies.

The National Audit Office (NAO) commended the envoy for his office’s significant efforts in addressing the severe drought situation in the country, noting in particular the importance of cooperation and awareness among offices, which could play a key role in delivering relief.

For his part, the envoy noted that coordination and facilitation of relief efforts was an important part of his office’s work, and that he was therefore committed to assisting various agencies and project staff in addressing the challenges ahead.

The envoy then briefed on various projects, including the BIYOOLE Water Development Project, which is implementing water catchment and installation projects in up to four states. The Rehabilitation Project is a project to save the lives of the most vulnerable families at a cost of 143 million. A report was also heard on the SCRP “Crisis Recovery Project” with six different components totaling 187.5 million. As well as the SURP project which deals with the construction of infrastructure such as resettlement of IDPs, construction of roads, facilities and Ministries of the States.

In addition to working together to accelerate drought relief efforts, the need to work for a lasting solution was agreed upon and various offices will have technical and executive meetings.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

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