SUNBIZ

Suva Retailers Urges Government To Revise Certain Duty Rates

 The Suva Retailers Association has made a submission to Government to waiver or give concession on Import Duty on general footwear. Association President, Atish Lala, said the submission was for
07 Jun 2016 09:37
Suva Retailers Urges Government To Revise Certain Duty Rates
Atish Lala

 The Suva Retailers Association has made a submission to Government to waiver or give concession on Import Duty on general footwear.

Association President, Atish Lala, said the submission was for the 2017 National Budget which will be announced on June 22.

“We are making this submission on issues that we feel should be taken into consideration for a vibrant 2017 National Budget,” he said.

The Suva Retailers Association represents retail and non-retail members who directly contribute economically and socially.

“As a nation focused on tourism and education for every child, we are very grateful for the Government that all children are getting free education in our country,” Mr Lala said.

“We are grateful that the government is working hard to build the tourism industry in Fiji.

“But in our view, 32 per cent duty and an additional 10 per cent excise duty makes it difficult for an ordinary citizen to invest in a good pair of school shoes and work shoes (safety footwear).”

Mr Lala said we have over 600 schools in the country which makes about a quarter of our population school kids.

He said another significant portion are working class men and women including about 20,000 of them in the tourism industry which now is the bigger than the sugar industry in Fiji.

“At the moment, duty on readymade garments is 32 per cent,” he said.

“Fiji has the highest duty rate on footwear in the South Pacific including Australia and New Zealand whereas governments initiative of free education is defeated because children have to buy expensive footwear.”

 

Reduction of duty on paper

The 2016 National Budget saw the rate of duty on importation of A4 and A3 photocopy paper increase.

The whole idea was to have A4 and A3 paper in the market which was competitive in price without compromising the quality.

Mr Lala said this was probably done to protect a local manufacturer who was cutting and rewrapping the paper in its own package.

“However, we note the paper is not of the same quality and does a lot of damage to drums in photocopiers and printers,” he said.

“We are still not in an environment which is paperless. The price of local wrapped paper is not only more expensive than before, but inferior to the imported paper.

“Many government departments still use imported paper regardless of the high duty paid because of its whiteness and quality.

“We submit that to have a fair paying field and competition in the market, Government must look at reducing duty on the two A4 and A3 papers.

“This is so more people are employed by the importers compared to two people that are employed by packaging factory, the only one in Suva.”

 

Duty on exercise books

Mr Lala highlighted duty rate on exercise books jumped up to $1.00 per item or 32 per cent in the past budget in order to protect two manufacturers in Fiji.

“Till today, we have been without the whole range of exercise books in the market as the two manufacturers have not been able to maintain the demand in the market,” he said.

“Neither are they willing to produce it throughout the year due to production costs.

“The large public did not in any way benefit with the local manufacture in fact comprised with the quality and were forced to buy whatever was available at the same price that they used to buy before.

“The demand for exercise books exceeds the supply in all proportions. It is therefore requested the duty on import of exercise books are reduced to five to 10 per cent.”

EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL

Feedback:  aatika.patel@fijisun.com.fj

Subscribe to E-Edition
Vodafone-giga-plan
GSMA
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
SPSE
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: