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Yaoundé - 14 December 2017 -
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Cameroon: Fearing an increase in bread's price, government abandons a provision to impose taxes on durum imports

Cameroon: Fearing an increase in bread's price, government abandons a provision to impose taxes on durum imports
  • Comments   -   Friday, 01 December 2017 12:43

(Business in Cameroon) - Finally, the provision, of the 2018 finance act, under which the government planned to restore the 5% tax on durum imports, as of January 2018, will no more be part of the bill. The latter was just submitted to parliamentarians for examination and adoption.

This provision was removed under instructions from Cameroon’s president. This is at least what a mail sent by Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, general secretary at the presidency, sent to his counterpart at the office of the prime minister on November 20, 2017, suggests. In the mail, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh conveyed the "presidential directives".

According to a tax expert, the government’s change of mind is a clever move to avoid populations’ discontent, since elections are approaching (they are to be held in 2018).

Truly, wheat which is abundantly imported by Cameroon since the closure of Sodéblé, is used to produce bread and many other pastries.  The first being a staple food Cameroonians, has always being a sensitive topic in the country as its prices shifts have always created tensions between the government and consumers’ associations in the past.

It is obvious that an increase in the price of imported wheat would have inevitably impacted the bread’s price or weight in bakeries. This situation would have exposed Cameroon to risks of social unrest in a context already marked by the constant reduction of the food basket.

Brice R. Mbodiam

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