Published on Thursday, 20 June , 2019      558 Views     

  • Government

The Ministry of Finance has revised the ‘sin tax’ on alcohol to 50 per cent compared to 100 per cent which came into force on June 15.

Khalid al Busaidi, from the Ministry of Finance, said on Wednesday that this has been done to ensure there is no rise in alcohol smuggling and no effect on the tourism sector.

He further said that the neighbouring countries have not imposed any tax on alcohol.

“The Ministry of Finance confirms the selective reduction of the tax imposed on alcohol from 100 per cent to 50 per cent.”

The revision has been welcomed by a cross-section of people.

“It’s a welcome step as it will not deter people from going to pubs, which had already increased the prices following the introduction of ‘sin tax’.

“And the impact of high prices was clear as there were much fewer people now flocking the pubs. Hopefully, we will see people return with guests and tourists enjoying themselves at pubs and restaurants,” Jitendra Singh, a Muscat resident said.

Bhaskar K, a regular to bars in Muscat, said,

“You will see the impact of price revision this weekend. I visited a popular bar on Monday night and it was literally empty.”

Oman has followed in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar in imposing a selective tax, dubbed as ‘sin tax’ on goods and beverages, seen to have a level of harm associated with their consumption. The prices of tobacco products, alcohol, energy drinks and pork products went up by 100 per cent from June 15, while carbonated drinks went up by 50 per cent.

It was based on the Royal Decree 23/2019 on the Selective Tax Law issued in March. A statement from the Governmental Communication Center on the law said that selective taxation seeks to achieve a set of objectives including supporting healthy lifestyle, controlling consumption pattern of such goods and generating additional resource for public finances.

In Europe around 11 countries including the UK, Ireland, France and Portugal imposed the ‘sugar or health tax’ last year onwards.

In an online poll conducted by Muscat Daily , 53 per cent of people agreed that the increased tax on tobacco, energy and soft drinks and alcohol will reduce the use of these products. Many youngsters felt that the high prices will impact their choices.

Category Government | 2019/06/20 latest update at 1:00 PM
Source : Muscat Daily | Photocredit : Google
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