Trade Ministry learns of tax increases from newspapers

The Ministry of Trade and Industry learned of the increased taxes on iron, cement and cigarettes from newspaper articles, said a high-level government official.
The new taxes will negatively affect consumers as they will ultimately bear the burden of the taxes through price increases, said a group of accountants and experts in tax law.
The Planning and Budget Committee of the People’s Assembly, lead by Ahmed Ezz, had not discussed the proposed taxes with officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said an official from the ministry. When the changes were publicized, Rachid Mohamed Rachid, minister of Trade and Industry, was accompanying President Mubarak on his trip to Italy.
The tax increases will take effect this June and will coincide with the beginning of the new financial year, said Rachid. Factories and merchants that attempt to exploit the new tax increases by unfairly increasing prices will face strong punitive measures, he added, saying there is a persistent slump in the iron and cement markets this year, therefore price increases in the near future are out of the question.
In related news, the Suez Egypt Company raised the price of one ton of cement by LE10, despite the fact that the new tax law has yet to be implemented.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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