Government brings down sales tax to 5% [Archives:2005/855/Local News]

June 30 2005

SANA'A – Due to the wide spread protests against sales tax law no. (19), the last of which is the law suit filed by the Chamber of commerce and Industry, the government has agreed to reduce it. The government was intending to pass this law at the beginning of July 2005, but changed their minds and asked the Parliament last Monday 27/6/2005, to reconsider reducing it to 5% in stead of 15%. The Government exempted cigarettes, weapons, ammunition and explosives. They are to be at the rate of 95%. The qat and international mobile at 15%. Processed gold at a rate of 2%. Jewellaries at the rate of 3%.

The Government suggested the cancellation of all tax exemptions for about 46 items that used to be exempted in 2001.

Mr. Mahfodh Shamakh, Director of the Chamber of Commerce, in a press conference, commented on the decision saying that it is not a solution. He demanded the cancellation of constitutional violations in the law, that levy taxes in several of their items instead of the 5% reduction

Samakh also demanded that the Government should allow the ownership of private satellite channels, which aim at voicing the businessmen views to the public. “The Government run media didn't allow our view point to reach the public. Moreover it tends to mis -represent it, when we objected to the sales tax”. Mahfoodh has described the sales tax law as mother of plights, which leads to the escape of national capital.