Oman to impose new excise tax this month to boost revenues

Oman has been slow in implementing fiscal reforms aimed at limiting the widening of its budget deficit. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 June 2019
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Oman to impose new excise tax this month to boost revenues

  • A 100% excise tax will be introduced for tobacco products, energy drinks, among others
  • A 50% tax will be applied on carbonated drinks

DUBAI: Oman will impose a new tax on sugary drinks and tobacco products starting on June 15, as the small Gulf oil producer seeks to boost state revenues strained by years of low oil prices.
A 100% excise tax will be introduced for tobacco products, energy drinks, alcohol and pork meat, while a 50% tax will be applied on carbonated drinks, according to a statement from an official at the Secretariat General for Taxation published by Oman’s state news agency on Saturday.
“The excise tax is a consumption tax and is considered to be indirect taxes. Thus, the final charge is on the consumers, but it is collected in advance at a stage of the supply chain, notably through the business sectors,” said Sulaiman bin Salim Al-A’adi, director general of survey and tax agreements.
Oman has been slow in implementing fiscal reforms aimed at limiting the widening of its budget deficit, while it has increasingly relied on external funding – through bonds and loans – to refill its coffers.
The sultanate had originally planned to introduce a 5% value-added tax in 2018, which is now expected to start in 2020.
“Further delays in implementation, along with a scenario of lower oil prices, pose downside risks to our assumption of narrower fiscal deficits relative to 2015-2017,” S&P Global Ratings said in April, adding that it expected fiscal gains in 2019 coming from the implementation of excise taxes on tobacco and energy drinks.
Oman said at the start of the year it expected its budget deficit to be 2.8 billion rials ($7.27 billion) this year, or 9% of gross domestic product.
Sources told Reuters last month that to cover part of the deficit, Oman is expected to issue a new international bond soon in a deal likely to go up to $2 billion in size.


Indonesia looks for investment opportunities in Yemen

Updated 20 September 2019

Indonesia looks for investment opportunities in Yemen

  • Indonesia’s ambassador to Yemen expressed Indonesia’s interest in various fields
  • There are currently more than 2,500 students from Indonesia studying in Hadramout

DUBAI: Indonesia’s ambassador to Yemen discussed investment opportunities in the country with Yemeni officials in Hadhramout on Thursday, Saba News reported.

Hadhramout Local Authority and Leaders of Industrial and Commercial Chamber of Hadramout met with Ambassador Mustafa Tawfiq to discuss ways to strengthen trade exchange between the two countries.

The ambassador expressed Indonesia’s interest in various fields including scholarship programs and training for small business.

“In light of the current situation in Hadhramaut and the security and stability achieved, commercial and industrial relations between Hadhramaut and Indonesia are witnessing a remarkable and significant development in this aspect,” Tawfiq said, calling for increased visits between businessmen in Hadramaut with their Indonesian counterparts to expand the economic partnership between the two sides.

Meanwhile, Assistant Deputy Governor of Hadhramout for the Valley and Desert Districts Affairs, Abdulhadi Al-Tamimi welcomed Indonesia’s interest in investment opportunities, praising the historical relations between Yemen and Indonesia.

There are currently more than 2,500 students from Indonesia studying in Hadhramout, Al-Tamimi said.

The Indonesian envoy welcomed local businessmen to visit Indonesia next month where Jakarta will hold the 43rd Trade Expo where more than 1,100 companies will be participating.

However, the Yemeni official raised the issues of obtaining visas to Indonesia after the embassy’s move to Amman, Jordan from Sanaa after the Houthi militia took over the Yemeni capital.