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PATEL welcomes tariffs reductions

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The National Chairman of the Patriotic Entrepreneur of Liberia (PATEL), a Trade Union, Mr. Dominic Nimely has thanked President George Manneh Weah for listening to Liberians’ cry and reducing tariffs on basic commodities here.

On Wednesday, 30 May Mr. Nimely expressed PATEL’s appreciation to the president for his first step in reducing tariffs on widely used commodities here.

Nut Mr. Nimely says he wants President Weah to boost his effort and address issues repeatedly being raised about the five days allotted for clearing of containers, lawmakers enacting and implementing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and ensuring that APM Terminals and BIVAC respect presidential mandate to accept Liberian Dollars.

PATEL’s commendation of the president comes after Mr. Weah approved a new tax schedule which reduces tariffs on a wide range of commodities being imported into the Liberian market.

On Tuesday the Ministry of Information said the schedule takes immediate effect and makes reductions ranging from 81 to 40 percent in over 2000 widely consumed commodities some of which include Pig Feet (81%), chicken feet (63%), vegetable oil (41%), onions (53%), used clothing (41%) and mosquito coil (65%), among others.

Following the president’s action, PATEL Chairman Mr. Nimely gave a reminder that Liberians take loans from banks and import goods from China and America and the organization looks forward to seeing some of these Chinese and American goods being part of the 2000 commodities mentioned by the government.-Press release

He expresses fears that if it does not happen, there are Liberians bringing goods for the July 26 Independence Day celebrations, and they might return to paying the same $50,000.00 for a container for which an importer $20,000.00 as principal.

“Besides that, like I said we got more goods coming. We don’t want to be in the noisy majority by going on the street or say we’re shutting down our businesses. We don’t find pleasure in doing that,” Mr. Nimely adds.

Couple of weeks ago, he says PATEL met the president and he spoke of some things, saying he wants those things to be enacted into law so that Liberian businesses are not left in a situation where they would pay low tariffs today and then tomorrow they are increased.

He says complains are coming to PATEL office again because bills are being raised to $46,000.00 for containers that importers spent $26,000.00 for. “How can we survive, how can we pay the bank loans, how can [Liberians] get a good name out there that they are business – friendly people?” he wonders.

By Winston W. Parley

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