ACCI warns nationwide protests against octroi
KABUL (PAN): The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) chief on Sunday warned the trader body would resort to countrywide protests until a municipal tax charged at the entry points to cities, including Kabul, is abolished.
Last month, the Cabinet said businessmen should pay the octroi to the municipality concerned if the goods were to be unloaded in the same city, reserving its last year's decision that municipalities would no longer realise the tax known as octroi.
"This decision will not only pave the ground for more corruption but also send the prices of daily use commodities soaring for the poverty-stricken masses," said ACCI Mohammad Qurban Haqju.
He told a press conference in Kabul that traders were ready to pay the tax, but through a transparent system and not at the entry gates.
The trader representative warned if the government did not change its stance on the issue and failed to meet their demand, they would not allow trucks to enter cities across the country to unload goods as of Sunday.
He said all traders were ready to park their trucks outside customs offices, but they were not in the mood to pay the octroi.
He said traders had stopped more than three thousand trucks carrying raw materials for food and construction over the past two weeks at Pul-i-Charkhi east of Kabul in protest.
Haqju said their decision to protest came after several meetings with the authorities failed to produce any result. The government has been refusing to pay attention to their legitimate demand, he said.
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