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21.03.2005 Business & Finance

Govt Accused Of Circumventing Law On Tax Reductions

By joyfm

Co-coordinator of the Third World Network Dr. Yao has described the repeal of taxes on imported poultry products and rice by parliament last Friday as illegal.

The review reduced the tax on poultry imports to 20 per cent from previous 40 per cent. Tax on imported rice dropped from 25 to 20 percent.

Critics say the decision contrasts with government's initiative to prop up local industry and protect it against unfair competition.

But Dr. Graham believes a more fundamental flaw is the illegal circumstances under which the law was reviewed.

The Poultry Farmers Association, which has been fighting against unfair competition from imported products, won a legal battle against the government on Friday.

The Association had sued the Finance and Justice Ministries for failing to implement a law passed in 2003 that increased the tax on imported poultry and rice.

Dr. Graham believes last Friday's review was hastily done to nullify the court ruling, which would compelled government to maintain the old law.

“ The executives were violating the law by not implementing the decision of Parliament, the court on the 11th ruled in favour of the poultry farmers and the AG's Department and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning were to appear in court on Monday 21,2005 but then on Friday 18 March the bill is rushed to Parliament and one has to be extremely generous to believe that the bill was passed to make the appearance in court empty. “ he said.

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