All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’ - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 8 No 2

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Shop Owners on Strike in Freetown Print
Written by Abubakarr Bah   
Tuesday, 05 January 2010
Shop owners in Freetown closed down their shops for what they referred to as the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Shop owners along Goderich, Sani Abacha and Wilberforce Streets, Regent Road and PZ told CTN that the closure of shops in the city was a strike action against government’s imposition of the GST in the country. The traders accused the government of hurriedly imposing heavy taxes on them without educating them about their significance. The strike action by traders in the capital angered residents who had gone shopping to replenish household stocks consumed over the holiday period. The President of the Sierra Leone Importers Association (SLIA), Alhaji Alpha Tanu Jalloh, told CTN that he was not aware about the shop closure staged by traders in Freetown. He said the executive was discussing the issue with the government. He urged traders to open their shops and be patient until the matter is settled amicably. The SLIA president however noted that traders in the country did not understand the Goods and Services Tax. He urged government to focus on educating the business community about the new tax before implementing it. Also on Monday, shops owners in Bo closed down their shops to the public. The Chairman of the Lebanese Business Committee, Kemel Baloun told journalists that most Lebanese owned shops, closed when they heard that there was a traders’ meeting in Freetown on GST. He noted that they were willing to pay the GST and abide by the laws of the country. The National Revenue Authority, NRA Assistant Commissioner of GST, Alfred Akibo-Betts said there was no need for business people to close their shops. Mr. Akibo-Betts told CTN that the NRA and the business people had mutually agreed since last September to defer the commencement of the new tax regime to January this year. 

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