Monday 5 September Honiara – Local businesses in the country welcomes the recent Government decision to remove customs import duty and sales tax on fuel imports at 100 percent exemption respectively.
Fuel users across the country are expected to experience a drop in fuel prices as of 1st September 2022. Petrol is expected to reduce by $1.50 while diesel is estimated to reduce by $1.51.
“The announcement and intervention by the Government for 100 percent exemption is timely as businesses enter the final quarters of the financial year and most are starting plans for 2023,” Board Chairman of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), Ricky Fuo’o, said.
A recent ‘Increase Fuel Price Survey’ conducted by SICCI on August 2022 showed the negative impact fuel increase has had on businesses in the past two months and the worrying impact it will continue to have in the next six months if the cost of fuel continues to increase.
One of the main recommendations highlighted in the survey is for the Solomon Islands Government to immediately intervene and control the increase fuel price to further minimize impact on businesses.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SICCI, Natalina Hong added: “SICCI is submitting survey reports and other documents to the Government that highlights impacts on businesses to ensure further relevant interventions.”
The announcement by Hon. Minister of Finance and Treasury, Hon. Harry Kuma in Parliament in the previous week of the 100 percent exemption of fuel from 1st September, 2022 is a relief to businesses for the remaining months of 2022.
SICCI acknowledge the fact that the decision was made based on a policy rational to support the private sector industry and as well mitigating the impact of increasing price of fuel in the market.
SICCI, as a peak private sector representative, also recognises that while there are many external factors affecting the world fuel prices, the short-term intervention to remove duty and sales tax is seen as a proactive move to mitigate the impact of fuel price and to ensure jobs and livelihoods provided by businesses are intact.
SICCI also acknowledges participants in the stakeholder consultation, especially Customs & Excise Division, Solomon Power, South Pacific Oil and Trade Co Shipping Limited and all businesses who participated in the survey.
The tax measures by the Government which provide initial savings to all consumers will end on December 2022.