Mogadishu (UM) – The Somali Parliamentary Committees on Finance and Commerce have rejected the introduction of the five per cent sales tax that has been imposed by the Ministry of Finance.
In a press statement they issued after the completion of their meeting , the Joint Committee on Finance and Trade deemed the collection of sales tax illegal and demanded from the Minister of Finance to bring the Comprehensive Tax Bill on 30th of April before the Parliament for scrutiny and approval. Any tax regime that has not been passed through the parliament is illegal the press statement states.
The Committees statement comes as many traders in Bakara market, the biggest open air market in East Africa, re-opened following many days of strike and boycott on what some traders termed punitive tax regime. On their side, the Ministry of Finance dismissed the claim and said paying tax is binding in the Somali law.
The new five per cent tax regime is new to Somalia and Ministry of Finance argues it is meant to generate local revenue since Somalia is mainly dependent on foreign donors to finance their projects.
It is not known whether the Ministry of Finance will defy and continue collecting the tax since the Cabinet is in full support of this.
UM will continue to follow this story and update readers accordingly.