Friday, June 5, 2020

Is The Rise In Tax On The Julbrew Product Due To Religious Consideration?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Foroyaa has heard comment giving the impression that the tax on jublrew product rising from 10 percent to seventy 75 percent is due to religious consideration. Analysts cannot convince anyone that that is the case.

Alcoholic drinks are not only produced by companies in The Gambia since the first republic but are also imported. The products are consumed by tourists and residents of The Gambia. The tourists number over 100,000. For example the number of tourists who visited The Gambia in 2018 numbered 209,000. Production and importation of alcohol drinks are not banned, hence religion has nothing to do with this. This is pure economics.

The Minister of Finance should put on his/her economic lenses and objectively look at the issues at hand and take decisions that make economic sense.  Foroyaa will capture their verdict.

The National Assembly also should not be used as a scapegoat. Tax proposals are brought to the National Assembly for a purpose. Aggrieved stakeholders are yet to understand the powers of the National Assembly and have not been used to raising issues with the National Assembly before approval. Such approach could lead to better scrutiny to the viability of tax proposals. Whatever is approved today could be remedied in a legal way should the executive see it to be in the national interest.

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