By EDDIE OSIFELO
THE Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCGA) has approved several revenue measures to bolster additional revenue this year.
These include taxing Lekona under the Tobacco Exercise from July 1, imposing plastic tax, raw sugar tax and soft drinks.
Minister of Finance and Treasury, Harry Kuma confirmed these measures when he tabled the $4 billion budget in Parliament yesterday.
Kuma said imposing the taxes was part of government’s move to control smoking, contribute to clean environment and combat Non-Communicable-Diseases.
He said medical evidence howed that increased tobacco consumption has direct adverse impacts on the health of our people, especially the young population.
“The government has completed review of Tobacco Excise regime and decided to raise the Tobacco Excise from 1st July, 2021.
“The government also intends to further strengthen the monitoring and tax compliance in this area, and will consider Introducing a system of tax in Lekona,” he said.
Kuma said Government expects to earn $24.9 million in additional revenues from this measure.
Furthermore, Kuma said as part of DCGA policy on pollution and clean environment, a $0.50 cents environmental levy is also proposed for plastics that are identified as major contributors to environment pollution.
He said single use and harmful plastics are going to attract this levy.
Kuma said the increase will generate minimal revenue of around $1.1 million for the full year.
“This will discourage the importation of plastics and encourage using of environmental friendly products other than plastics,” he said.
Furthermore, Kuma said through Ministry and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Government will impose levy at the rate of $1.00 per Kg on raw sugar effective as of 1st May 2021 as part of Government national strategy in combating non-communicable diseases in the country.
He said this Tax when fully implemented will generate additional revenue of $7 million per year to the Government.
Moreover, Kuma said the other product category covered under the NCO policy strategy includes soft drinks and the proposed Levy rate of $1-00 per Kg.
He said this tax when implemented as planned will generate additional revenue of $6 million per year to the Government.