20 May 2019

Gambia: Banjul Breweries Negotiates With Government

Borry Darboe, Country Sales and Marketing Manager of Banjul Breweries Company Ltd. over the weekend, informed Foroyaa of their negotiation engagements with Government concerning the heavy tax levied on their business. Darboe expressed the hope that their concerns will be noted and considered.

"Government is ready to listen to us. Previously we wrote letters and urged the Government to revisit the tax levied on the Company, but they did not answer," Darboe told this reporter. He however noted that they have started engaging the authorities and everything is going on smoothly so far.

"I am sure they will listen to us and will be ready to make concessions on the tax they have levied on the Company," he remarked.

Darboe said he is not privy to how the reduction will be, but is optimistic that there will be a reduction. "Government cannot allow Banjul Breweries to close because they know how much the Company contributes to the national economy and what they do in employment creation," he said.

Darboe said the closure of the Company will cause thousands of jobs loses either directly or indirectly. He said their representatives at the negotiation table were asked to write and present a proposal which they did and are now waiting for the Government to act.

If readers can recall, Darboe informed Foroyaa in previous editions that in 2017, Banjul Breweries paid one hundred and twenty million Dalasi as tax; that in 2018, it paid one hundred and thirty-two million Dalasi, and from January to April this year 2019, the Company paid ninety-seven (97) million Dalasi.

Darboe indicated that the 75% increment excludes VAT (valued added tax); that if VAT was to be added, it will give a total of 90% which is not profitable and beneficial to any profit-making organisation in the world. Darboe said the Company has never refused tax increment because they know that the country's economy is tax based. He said Banjul Breweries has been in existence for forty-one years in the country; that they have always been very cooperative, understanding and helpful with previous and present authorities.

It is because of the tax issue that the management of Banjul Breweries decided on Monday May 13th 2019, to stop producing and selling those beverages in their stores.

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