Merchants raise prices under pretext of taxes increase [Archives:2004/754/Business & Economy]

July 12 2004

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
Merchants in Yemen have recently launched a new price dose on some goods under pretext of taxes increase on them pursuant to a law lately issued. But the increases included a number of goods on which consumer taxes have not been imposed.
Dr Khalid Rajih Sheikh, the minister of industry and trade said the increases created by some merchants were illegal and groundless and were not included in the consumption tax.
The minister added that the items included in the new tax were cosmetics, soap, detergents, sweets, biscuits, ice cream, jelly and telephone and post services, all which are items not pertaining to citizens' essential needs. The minister industry threatened of no remission with merchants who have imposed illegal increases on some goods. There would be supervision and follow-up for the purpose of ensuring stability of prices in the market.
The ministry of industry and trade has established a special operations room for follow-up and evaluation and control of violating merchants in order to protect the citizen against the new prices. Merchants have seized the opportunity of amending the article (9) of the income, consumption and production taxes law to increase prices of some gods on their own aimed at gaining profits at the expense of the citizens who do not possess the ample purchasing power to encounter the new prices.
The ministry asked consumers to report on any violation to enable the ministry detects it and apply the decision of taxes amendments without causing harms to the citizens and the low level of their income.
The government had postponed putting into force a new price dose of economic and financial reforms till after the rainfall to make room for the citizens to bear consequences of an increase in prices of oil products and other services.