Government to increase taxes on alcohol, telecom services

South Sudan is set to increase by 20-25 per cent taxes on alcohol, tobacco and telecommunication services this financial year, the Cabinet Affairs Minister told reporters on Friday.

Martin Elia Lomuro said projections in tax revenue increase were made by the minister of finance, Salvatore Garang Mabiordit during Friday's council of ministers meeting chaired by the president.

If you want to smoke or you want to drink or you want to make telephone calls, please be ready to spend a bit more, he said.

Overall the tax revenue put by the minister is about SSP 26.3bn and this is set to increase due to increase in oil production, improvement in the insecurity situation, potential increase in the exchange rate, which is now fixed at 155 as well as the increase in tax collection due to establishment of the national revenue authority, he explained.

Lomuro said the finance minister presented the resource envelop, identifying key priorities for this financial year, including salaries and essential transfers to South Sudan's 32 states, funding for the revitalized peace agreement, allocations for the security sector as well as a reduction in budgets for travels and medical expenditures.

He said in order for the government to be able to implement the peace agreement, it needed to have in place a resource envelope.

The resource envelop is estimated to be SSP 106 billion ( $684 million), which is SSP 24.5 billion more than the resource envelope for 2018/2019, said Lomuro.

According to the minister, projections for gross oil revenues for this year have been put at SSP 211 billion ($1.4 billion) and it is expected to be achieved through increase in oil production in the country.

South Sudan's economy is almost entirely dependent on oil exports. In January, some of its oilfields suspended due to the conflict reopened in Unity region.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

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