- Published on 06 April 2017
The government yesterday suspended plans to introduce a 10% withholding tax on tobacco farmers without clearance certificates, a victory for farmers, who had asked authorities to reverse the decision.
The announcement came barely a few hours after tobacco buying was temporarily halted yesterday at Boka auction floors, as farmers protested against the withholding tax and cash payment delays. Agriculture minister Joseph Made yesterday told the National Assembly that the withholding tax had been suspended. Last week, Zimra told the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) to deduct 10% withholding tax on farmers without tax clearance certificates, causing uproar, as the tobacco farmers felt they had not been consulted, with farmers’ associations petitioning Treasury on the move they thought was ill-advised and would suffocate farmers. Earlier, business came to a standstill at Boka Tobacco Auction Floor when farmers closed the entrance at 3am, protesting against the withholding tax and failure by banks to give them cash. (Newsday)