By Tabora Bojang
The Gambia Revenue Authority has announced the lifting of 20 percent indicative value on importers of basic commodities, (cost insurance and freight), CIF, to cope with the country’s economic contractions and high cost of living in Ramadan.
The 20% levy was first lifted in April last year during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic to spur recovery for the business community in mitigating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their businesses.
However, it was reinstated in January 2021 due to the challenges it posed on meeting the GRA’s revenue targets for 2021, according to a correspondence seen by The Standard.
The Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in its market findings on price increment of essential commodities revealed that the re-introduction of this levy was one reason responsible for the unprecedented price hikes in the country.
However, in a recent correspondence to the trade ministry, the GRA said: “Following the recent hike in the prices of basic commodities in the country, the Ministry of Trade at a high level meeting with the Ministry of Finance and GRA appealed for the restoration of the concession on cost insurance and freight value for basic commodities and a decision was reached which saw the GRA commenced implementing the 20% reduction of CIF value for basic commodities from 3rd March.
“It is our fervent hope that this measure will achieve its desired objective by reducing the price of basic commodities especially during this holy month of Ramadan.”