Cooking oil price to hike by 9 per cent
MBABANE – Consumers will have to pay an extra nine per cent for cooking oil to accommodate a new import levy on the basic commodity.
This, after the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBoard) informed importers about the hike in the import levy for cooking oil, which ideally, should have started last month.
The import levy has hiked from 15 per cent to 24 per cent.
A gazette confirming the latest developments is expected to be out this week.
NAMBoard acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lwazi Mhlongo confirmed the latest developments and said the decision was reached after discussions with the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) together with the Ministry of Agriculture.
The main reason for the hike is to discourage oil imports, according to Mhlongo.
NAMBoard, together with government is looking forward to the re-opening of cooking oil producing company, Swaziland Oil Mill Industry (SOMI) which stopped operating for two years following a court case where Southern Trading Company (Pty) Limited wanted the ministry and NAMBoard to answer on the 15 per cent levy and further challenged Minister Clement Dlamini’s decision to amend regulations of NAMBoard which enabled it to demand importers of edible oil and other related products to register and obtain permits from it.
Mhlongo said SOMI would have to start operating soon and produce volumes that would satisfy the local market.
"We will have to comply with the 24 per cent import levy. I don’t see how the importers alone will shoulder this," he said in an interview.
He noted that with this in place, SOMI would have to start working, stating that NAMBoard was aware of the reasons why the company had to halt its operations.
"Even though the levy is meant to discourage cooking oil imports, we still don’t want to deprive people of their brands.
"We have not barred imports of cooking oil but just hiked the levy," he said.
Currently, a 750 millilitre bottle of Sun Sun brand cooking oil, for instance costs E12.29.
With the new levy being effected, it is likely to cost about E13.40.
More levies are coming as once mentioned by SRA last week on SBIS. Government is determined to collect more money from the people to satisfy their greedy appetites.
July 10, 2012, 10:00 am, Vincent (email@example.com)
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