Animal feed and raw food and vegetables are being retained on the list of items being exempted from General Consumption Tax (GCT), Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, has announced.
At the same time, the Minister disclosed that, following consultations and discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, it is proposed that, effective July 1, an additional 15 per cent stamp duty will be applied to fresh, chilled or frozen meat of sheep and/or goats, which are imported.
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This, he pointed out, is in addition to the Common External Tariff (CET), which currently applies to these items.
Closing the 2012/13 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, on June 6, Dr. Phillips pointed out that the exempted items will result in the Government giving up $250 million in revenue.
Also coming into effect on July 1, Dr. Phillips further informed the House, will be the imposition of an additional 10 per cent stamp duty on imported hams and bacon, which already attracts import duties. “This will provide an additional level of protection to the local pig industry, which is largely, self-sufficient,” he explained.
The Minister said these duties, coupled with the proposed placing of a cap on waivers on these goods, effective June 15, will not only secure the revenues lost by replacing the exempt status, “but will also give a stimulus to domestic food production."
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter