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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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The increment of tax on cement

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A standoff ensued recently when it was announced that the Gambia Government increased the tax on importation of cement into the country. It was revealed that instead of the thirty dalasis per bag, importers were now to pay up to hundred and eighty dalasis per bag in order to get cement into the country.

As a result of this, a number of trucks loaded with cement from Senegal got stranded at the border as they failed to pay the amount. The officials also refused to let them in if they do not pay the right tax. Thus began a back and forth between the association of importers and manufacturers.

One group explained that those who bring in cement are doing it for their own interest as there are no manufacturing plants in the country while others do repackaging and selling it in the country. Going to another country to bring in cement therefore is like giving revenue and jobs to that country while killing the local industries.

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They claimed that the number of cement bags manufactured and repackaged in the country in a day is more than what is consumed daily. Therefore in their estimation, there is no need to import cement into the country as this will just kill the local industry. This is not good for the economy of the country.

If the government returns the tax to the thirty dalasis it was before the beginning of the crisis, it will be welcome news to the people engaged in the repackaging and manufacturing in the country. It will also have a good impact on the economy of the country.

Many countries have laws which protect the citizens from such actions and will not allow people from other countries or unscrupulous people to take advantage of the public. Perhaps it is time for the Government of the Gambia to also introduce laws meant to protect the citizenry from every type of exploitation. 

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