The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), will today, Tuesday, 15th January 2013, convene a sensitisation forum with stakeholders -the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment and the Gambia Revenue Authority to discuss the increase in the price of essential commodities, particularly foodstuff.
The price hike of many basic food and essential items is said to have rumored by many business owners as a result of government's introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) which replaces the previous Sales and Excise Tax effective January 2013.
The GCCI secretariat made it clear that VAT is not an additianal tax, but a replacement for the previous Sales and Excise Tax that has been in existence in the country for a long time.
Similarly, the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) earlier convened a press conference on the same matter where its acting commissioner general, Yankuba Darboe, stressed that the introduction of VAT should not lead to increase in the prices of commodities.
He said the GRA has received some information that prices of some basic commodities have been increased by some businessmen, who claim that the increment was due to the introduction of VAT. "If people are in doubt about the VAT, they should come and make things clear with us here and not to just imagine and increase prices," he added.