The business in Mogadishu came to standstill after traders in Mogadishu’s main market, Barako began closure of their shops in a move to demonstrate against increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) which rates 5%.
The move comes amid the operations of Mogadishu port are partially halted following protest by Benadir Business Community.
The levies imposed early this month subsequently led the traders to be up in arms over commercial tax. The traders want the new taxes to be exempted and the government takes a step ahead to unify the taxes across the nation.
Some of traders who spoke to the media said the rates on goods imported are hurting their businesses and crippling the city’s economic growth.
The government brushed off calls to scrap VAT on imported goods, saying its port service charges are still low and affordable.
Abdirahman Duale Beileh, minister of Finance said the amount of Tax-Added Value (VAT) imposed on the commodities is based on the revenue regulations and is not new charges.
“There is no new tax imposed on goods, the traders were asked to clear all port charges and other fees as per the regulations,” said Beileh during press conference held in Mogadishu last week.
Benadir Business Community expressed concerns over hefty charges that the government slapped on their imported commodities.
“Ministry for Finance, particularly Revenue Authority has imposed heavy levies which make the taxation system of Mogadishu much higher than any other port in the country,” the statement reads in part.