Displaying items by tag: Tax
Vietnam: The Vietnam National Cement Association (VNCA) has proposed that the Ministries of Planning and Investment, Finance, and Construction reduce import duties on aluminium cement to improve the competiveness of local refractory producers. At present the country charges a tax of 32 – 37% on imports of the input material used to manufacture refractory concrete and refractory bricks. However, imports of refractory bricks are only charged 6%, according to the Viet Nam News newspaper.
The VNCA suggested the government cut duties on aluminium cement imports to support local firms and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign partners, such as China. Vietnam imports refractory concrete and refractory bricks from China, India, South Korea and Germany.
Nigeria: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has raided the Lagos office of the Bank of Industry (BOI) following an investigation. Officials of the development bank say that the raid was part of the investigation by the EFCC of the allegation of misapplied funds belonging to the Cement Technology Institute of Nigeria (CTIN), according to All Africa.
In a statement the BOI said that concerns regarding the new terms on how to manage a fund accrued from tariffs on imported cement between 2011 and 2015 had been addressed. The bank was appointed by the federal government to use the money to develop the country’s cement industry. However, following the creation of Cement Technology Institute of Nigeria (CTIN) the BOI was asked in 2013 to transfer the fund to CITN. This did not happen. On 17 June 2016 the fund had grown to US$47m in the BOI’s accounts.
Pakistan: The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has warned that an increase in Federal Excise Duty on cement may increase the levels of illegal imports of Iranian cement. The increase in the tax was announced in the 2016 – 2017 federal budget. Instead, the association wants the government to reduce taxes on cement to promote local dispatches, according to local media.
According to the latest data, issued by the APCMA, the cement industry dispatched 35.5Mt of cement between July 2015 and May 2016, an increase of 106% year-on-year from the previous period. However, exports to countries other than India, fell during this period.
India: Two cement plants in Himachal Pradesh have been accused of evading goods tax worth US$9m, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said. The Ambuja integrated cement plant at Darlaghat and the JP Cement Himachal grinding plant at Bagha allegedly avoided the tax.
The companies transported 1.7Mt of limestone and 0.21Mt of shale from their quarries between April 2012 and March 2014. Ambuja Cement and JP Cement were liable to pay US$5.1m and US$3.9m respectively. The CAG only became aware of the shortfall in December 2015.
Pakistan: The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has led demands that the government abolish the gas infrastructure development cess (tax) (GIDC) because it has made Pakistan-produced cement uncompetitive for export. APCMA chairman Mohammad Ali Tabba said that declining fuel prices, including liquefied natural gas in the international markets, had added to the situation, according to local press.
The Pakistan government enacted the Gas Infrastructural Development Act of 2011 thereby charging a cess or levy on all non-domestic gas consumers. However, the tax has been resisted legally since that time with tussles over whether back taxes should be collected or not.
Tabba also added that a recent increase on the import duty from 1% to 6% on coal should be reduced to zero.
Tanzania: The Court of Appeal has dismissed a disputed tax charge for US$371,000 against Tanga Cement as ‘incompetent.’ Counsel for Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Felix Haule, conceded that the appeal was indeed incompetent because the decree was not signed by members of the Tax Appeals Tribunal, according to local media. Before rejecting the two appeals, the Justices of the appeals court were informed that the respondents into the matters have lodged preliminary objections to challenge their competence for having offended the rules under the Tax Revenue Appeals Tribunal. The case was one of three worth over US$1.3bn that were also dismissed as part of a series of corporate tax appeal cases.
Pakistan: The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has said that the growth in the domestic economy has supported overall growth in the cement industry. However it added that the industry has had to approach various decision makers to stop the influx of Iranian cement into Pakistan from Iran via Balochistan. The APCMA said that the industry needs a safeguard mechanism to be put in place to stop the adverse effects of cement smuggling into the country. It stated that the government should impose a 20% Regulatory Duty for import of cement in addition to the current customs duty.
The APCMA spokesperson added that, due to the high cost of doing business in Pakistan, the country's cement industry is losing competitiveness to other countries such as Iran, the UAE and India. The industry has appealed for reduction in energy costs, removal of taxes imposed on gas, a reduction of custom duty on coal to zero and an additional incentive of 5% on export of cement by sea.
Statistics indicate that the cement sector is now almost completely dependent on domestic sales, the share of which has increased to over 80% of total cement sales compared to just 50% in 2008 - 2009, as domestic sales continue to increase, while exports are showing constant decline. Cement dispatches to domestic markets during the month of October 2015 were 2.6Mt compared with 2.1Mt during October 2014, an increase of 24% year-on-year.
Ghana: The Ghana Cement Manufacturing Association (GCMA) has approved of a government customs decision to increase the cost and freight value of imported bagged cement into the country. The valuation of Freight on Board (FOB) for the import of bagged cement has been increased to US$60/t from US$25/t, according to GCMA Chairman and Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director of Ghacem, George Dawson-Ahmoah.
"We are appealing to international cement manufacturing companies who know the international cement market trade to abide by fair trade practices to safeguard the industry, because it has consequences like workers losing their jobs, lower taxes to the government and folding-up of local cement companies — which would be disastrous for the nation," said Dawson-Ahmoah to local media.
Dawson-Ahmoah said that the GCMA was not expecting any value less than US$80/t to cover cost and freight of imported cement from China to Ghana. He added that the country's local cement industry has a 2Mt/yr surplus of cement production capacity following expansion projects. Since lobbying the government on this issue the GCMA has been monitoring movement of imported bagged cement and will continue to insist on fair trade practices.
Pakistan: Cement manufacturers have voiced their opposition to the various tax measures announced in the federal budget for 2015 - 2016 that they say will hurt investor sentiments in general and burden cement consumers in particular, according to The Express Tribune.
"Finance minister Ishaq Dar should revisit some fiscal measures that will lead to an increase in the cost of doing business and are against the norms of taxation," said Muhammad Ali Tabba, chairman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association. In a statement, Tabba pointed out that taxpayers with a taxable income of US$4.91m or more would be liable to pay a 3% super tax, which was discriminatory. The super tax would also be charged on export income, though exports were subject to the final tax regime at the rate of 1%.
Protesting against the increase in import duty from 1% to 5% on coal, Tabba said that while the cement manufacturers were making efforts to reduce the cost of production in order to compete at the global level, the duty hike would increase the business cost. Fuel constitutes more than 50% in the overall production cost and cement manufacturers will have no choice but to pass this additional burden on to consumers, he added.
Nigeria: According to All Africa, Ashaka Cement has filed a suit against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) before the Tax Appeal Tribunal, North West Zone over a US$6.94m tax dispute.
In its statement of claim, Ashaka Cement faulted the tax assessment made by the FIRS and urged the tribunal to review the decision. It alleged that, in December 2014, the FIRS commenced a tax audit exercise on Ashaka Cement with respect to the year 2013.
"Subsequent to the exercise, the respondent issued an invitation / demand notice dated 2 December 2014 on the appellant (Ashaka Cement), assessing unpaid tax liabilities, which the appellant representatives attended on 15 December 2014. The invitation / demand notice contained the breakdown of the assessment made by the Respondent (FIRS). The Appellant received the said letter on the 4 December 2014. The Appellant responded to the said notice by an objection letter dated 22 December 2014 and served on the Respondent on 29 December 2014," said Ashaka Cement.
According to Ashaka Cement, the service of the objection letter was preceded by a reconciliation meeting held between its representatives and the FIRS' representatives on 15 December 2014. It said that vital issues contained in the FIRS' notice were discussed and 'ironed out.' Ashaka Cement argued that the grounds of objection raised in its notice was a reflection of issues raised, canvassed and agreed upon at the reconciliation meeting. It noted that it had assessed its tax liability on technical fees based on estimate only and all supporting documents were attached in form of Appendixes 1-12.