NCCI welcomes tax amnesty

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Helvy Shaanika

Ongwediva-The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) Northern Branch has welcomed the tax amnesty announced late last year by government.

According to NCCI northern branch chairperson, Tomas Iindji, it is common knowledge that tax amnesties by governments do not come around often. Thus people should take the rare opportunity and get their tax affairs in order.

Late last year, government announced it has granted tax amnesty starting from February 1, 2017, with penalties waived 100 percent and interest reduced by 80 percent provided the outstanding capital is paid in full.

Iindji has, however, urged business people to commit to paying taxes, maintaining that everyone – including individuals, organizations and businesses – must pay their share of tax.

According to him, the business community is the major source of revenue for the government and tax revenues are used to fund the developmental projects such as construction and maintenance of roads, schools and hospitals, among others.

“The outcry over equality means there is little sympathy for people who have built up wealth without paying tax. We thank the government for such consideration and urge our members to honour their tax obligations,” said Iindji.

Furthermore, Iindji urged authorities to speed up the process leading up to the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act.

According to him, the consumers Act will empower consumers to lodge complaints where wronged by service providers, while it will promote ethical business practice.

“Consumer Protection Act covers a wide range of topics, including but not necessarily limited to product liability, privacy rights, unfair business practices, fraud, misrepresentation, and other consumer/business interactions. This Act is pivotal for our development agenda in many ways. Among others, the law will force service providers to explain their products and services better and vehemently protect the interests of the consumer,” he said.

Iindji further added that consumer protection and consumer advocacy bring the intentions of the company and products together with the needs of the customers and the market that they are operating.

Furthermore, the Act will also compel companies to provide detailed information about their products.

By divulging contents and properties of their products, producers are guaranteeing that their products are safe. Moreover, the Consumer Protection Act is expected to promote a fair, accessible and sustainable marketplace for consumer products and services, establish national norms and standards to ensure adequate consumer protection and give guidelines for improved standards of consumer information that will prohibit unfair marketing or other unfair business practices, among others.

“Namibians should enjoy the same rights as consumers from suppliers, especially those who offer similar products in their home countries but don’t offer it once goods are imported. Daily, one reads in the international press how consumer settlement takes place globally but Namibian consumers bear the loss due to the capital strength of the suppliers,” said Iindji.

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