Oman to impose 50% tax on sweetened drinks

Oman to impose 50% tax on sweetened drinks
Businesses involved with the import, production, trade, and distribution of sugary drinks are subjected to the new taxation. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 24 September 2020

Oman to impose 50% tax on sweetened drinks

Oman to impose 50% tax on sweetened drinks
  • The new law coincides with the Unified GCC Agreement on Selective Tax
  • The same tax has been applied in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in 2019

DUBAI: The Oman Tax Authority announced a 50 percent excise tax on sweetened beverages from Oct. 1, national daily Times of Oman has reported.

The new law coincides with the Unified GCC Agreement on Selective Tax which applies to products deemed to be harmful to a person’s health. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have levied the same tax last year.

The Tax Authority said all businesses involved with the import, production, trade, and distribution of sugary drinks are subjected to the new taxation.

The Selective Tax agreement signed by Gulf states fall under a wider deal that aims to standardized the countries’ economic, financial, and monetary policies.


President-elect Biden: Last thing Middle East needs is Iran with nuclear weapon

Updated 33 min 42 sec ago

President-elect Biden: Last thing Middle East needs is Iran with nuclear weapon

President-elect Biden: Last thing Middle East needs is Iran with nuclear weapon
  • Said Tehran would have to agree to new demands if return to deal was possible
  • Added Tehran must address its “malign” regional activities through proxies

LONDON: US President-elect Joe Biden said he is against Iran gaining a nuclear weapon, adding it is the “last thing” the Middle East region needs, in an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday.

Biden also said that his administration would seek to extend the duration of “restrictions on Iran’s production of fissile material that could be used to make a (nuclear) bomb” in any new negotiations on a nuclear deal.

He added that Tehran would have to agree to new demands if a return to a deal was possible and that it must address its “malign” regional activities through proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Incumbent President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal struck in 2018 and reimposed strong sanctions on Iran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic republic.

Biden, who defeated Trump at the ballot box last month, said during campaigning that he did not support the lifting of sanctions but intended to offer Iran a “credible path back to diplomacy.”

However, in the NYT interview published on Wednesday, he admitted that getting Iran to agree to a modified deal would be “hard.”

“Look, there’s a lot of talk about precision missiles and all range of other things that are destabilizing the region,” Biden was quoted as saying.

“The best way to achieve getting some stability in the region” was to deal “with the nuclear program,” he added.

The president-elect warned that if Iran acquired a bomb, it would spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and that “the last . . . thing we need in that part of the world is a buildup of nuclear capability,” he added.

“In consultation with our allies and partners, we’re going to engage in negotiations and follow-on agreements to tighten and lengthen Iran’s nuclear constraints, as well as address the missile program,” he told the Times.

Biden was cited as saying that the US always had the option to snap back sanctions if needed, and that Iran knew that.

The JCPOA had given Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

* With AFP