3rd June 2022 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

June 3, 2022 - 5 Minutes Read - By Amrit Labhuram

New alcohol, SIM card taxes rock Parliament

A Member of Parliament affiliated to Deputy President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza coalition on Thursday evening proposed higher taxation on beer and a new duty on imported SIM cards in changes to the Finance Bill 2022 that were being debated last evening.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah sought to increase excise duty on beer, wine and spirits by between 20.2 percent and 25.6 percent, opposing the recommendation by the National Assembly Finance Committee, which reversed the Treasury’s proposals to raise alcohol taxes.

In a raft of amendments largely seen to have the blessings of the Ruto-led Kenya Kwanza coalition, Mr Ichung’wah also proposed a new Sh50 excise duty on every imported ready-to-use SIM card.

The proposals, if adopted, will see the tax on a litre of beer rise 23.1 percent to Sh150 from the current Sh121, which will increase the price of a bottle of beer by Sh15.

Mobile phone users seeking to replace or register afresh will pay more for the product, with the mobile telephony market a key target for raising billions of shillings in taxes. Presently, Safaricom charges Sh50 for replacement and fresh SIM listing.

(Source: Business Daily)


MPs Salute Samia Resolve to Cushion Rising Fuel Prices

Several Members of Parliament who debated the 2022/2023 budget estimates for the Ministry of Energy on Thursday gave kudos to the recent TShs 100 billion provided by President Samia Suluhu Hassan to cushion the rising fuel prices which had brought a public outcry from consumers.

Majority of the MPs said the President had exhibited strong leadership in dealing with challenges facing her people, expressing optimism that the TShs 2.9 trillion budget tabled by the minister of Energy, January Makamba on Wednesday provided a clear direction in looking for solutions on the challenges facing the energy sector.

Special Seats MP Catherine Magige (CCM) said the TShs 100 billion subsidy provided by the Head of State has so far eased fuel prices for petrol and diesel, something which comes as a welcome move.

A statement provided by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) on Tuesday, effective Wednesday, the retail price for petrol is TShs 2,994 from TShs 3,303 per litre, diesel TShs 3,126/- down from TShs 3,452  per litre, while kerosene prices remain unchanged.

In Dar es Salaam, petrol price was reduced by TShs 306 per litre while diesel prices dropped by Tsh320 per litre. In Tanga and Mtwara ports, petrol prices went down by TShs 152 and TShs 282 per litre, respectively.

Diesel prices dipped to TShs 476 per litre for Tanga port and TShs 486 for Mtwara Port, EWURA said.

(Source: AllAfrica) 


Govt suppliers to only pay VAT after their invoices are cashed

Goods supplied to the government will, beginning July 1, not be subjected to value added tax (VAT) before their invoices are cashed. 

The policy shift is contained in the new tax amendments 2022 that were passed by Parliament, but still awaiting to be signed by the President.  

Speaking at the weekend, Mr Robert Wamala Lumanyika, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) public and corporate affairs acting manager, confirmed that government suppliers will only be required to account for VAT on  goods and services that have been paid.  

Previously, he said, government suppliers would be expected to account for VAT at the point of delivery, invoicing or payment. 

“Now the change is, those who will be supplying the government will only account after the government has paid. This is basically to help businesses not to pay when they have actually not received money [because] it ties up capital,” he said, noting this is a good initiative that will help suppliers to free up capital.

(Source: The Monitor)


Coca-Cola Company Inaugurates 100 Million USD Factory Near Capital City

The Coca-Cola Company inaugurated today a 100 million USD factory at Sebeta, a town near the capital city.

The company has created direct and indirect jobs for more than 30,000 Ethiopians during the past six decades, it was learned.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Industry minister Melaku Alebel said the company has been playing an indispensable role in the sector in the last 62 years.

He added that the company has been fulfilling its social responsibility by supporting women and constructing schools.

The minister also said that the government is working to solve bottlenecks in the industry sector.

(Source: Ethiopia News Agency)


Farming in Sudan has become ‘a leap in the dark’

Farmers in Sudan have expressed serious concerns about the agricultural season that is supposed to start this month. The June-to-September main rainfall season is expected to be above average, and flooding is likely to result in crop losses, FEWS NET warns.

The preparations for this year’s main agricultural season do not exceed three percent, Mr Ahmed Babiker, the Secretary-General of the El Gezira and El Managil Farmers Association, told the Hadees El Nas programme of the Sudanese Blue Nile Satellite Channel on Tuesday. “Farming now is like taking a leap in the dark,” he said.

Mr Babiker holds the state politics responsible for the dire situation. “Despite the great efforts made by the farmers during the winter season, serious errors made by the transitional government have led to a decrease in wheat productivity,” he said.

The last season turned out to be “a catastrophe” because of “the state’s lack of commitment to set indicative prices for wheat and cotton, maintain irrigation canals, and provide the necessary inputs, such as fertilisers, on time,” Mr Babiker said.

(Source: Radio Dabanga)


Federal Government Issues Warning To Fishermen

The Director-General of the Ministry of Ports and Maritime Transport of the Federal Government of Somalia, Mr Mohamed Osman Ali (Dhagahtur), has issued a warning to fishermen fishing off the coast of the country.

Speaking to state media, Director Dhagahtur said that the fishing season, which runs until September 15, 2022, has been announced and will inform the fishermen who are going fishing.

The director of the Ministry of Ports and Maritime Transport has warned Somali fishermen not to go too far inland during the high seas, pointing out that this could lead to a dangerous situation.

“The seaside season has begun today and we warn fishermen not to go too far into the sea,” said the director-general of the Ministry of Ports, who said fishermen in small boats should not go too far.

During the high sea season, Somali fishermen suffer losses of life and property, sometimes with boats and fishermen missing.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

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