Thursday 29 June 2017

Sorghum farmers oppose amendment to Finance Act

Sorghum farmers oppose amendment to Finance Act
(APA 05/08/17)
Sorghum farmers oppose amendment to Finance Act

The umbrella body of sorghum farmers in Sierra Leone has vowed to challenge the amended Finance Act, which reopened the door for competition between imported alcoholic brews and the local ones, APA can report.

The Finance Act 2017, which was passed in parliament last month, amended the Finance Act 2016 which levied heavy taxes on imported brews.

That law paved the way for the Sierra Leone Brewery to increase its production, thereby empowering many local farmers from whom it sources its raw materials.

However, the Ministry of Finance has said the 2016 law turned out to adversely affect businesses which sell imported brews, and consequently the government’s revenue.

The amended law of 2017 revised the taxes charged.

The farmers’ association wants the new changes rescinded, and has asked President Ernest Bai Koroma not to append his signature on the bill when it reaches his desk. The bill cannot become law until it is accented to by the president.

The association says the move undermines the government’s Local Content Policy.

“It is with dismay that the revised March 2016 Finance Act that was reviewed in April 2017, did not take into cognizance issues that have to do with the sorghum farmers who locally produce and market to the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited,” the association, which claims to represent 21, 000 farmers, said in a statement on Monday.

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