Rwanda traders ask for tax reductions in budget

KIGALI, RWANDA – A cross section of business people interviewed, want the government to cut taxes so that profit margins can increase which will also leave more capital for reinvestment.
“If the government can reduce on taxes and put some incentives for us, it would be good for us now to  produce in big volumes and be able to export to the neighbouring countries,” Anasistae Kwizera, a trader in  the city’s commercial centre told East African Business Week.
Exporters said Rwandan products cannot compete with similar products in the region due to higher costs of production.
This tends to peg their prices relatively high.
“We always have a challenge when we are selling our products to other markets, because they tend to be more expensive than others despite  being of  high quality.
Most people mind about price not quality,” one exporter said.
High production costs are directly linked to Rwanda being landlocked. This means paying more for transporting raw materials.  Some business people also said both high energy costs and taxation levels hurt their operations.
However several traders are optimistic that  the  government will adjust the tax regime to help inspire growth. They liked the SME tax provisions introduced in the  2012-2013 fiscal  budget, that allow small businesses to develop.
“Taxes scare away most of us in business, because they involve  taking away money  which you cannot see its impact.
But if the government continues to ease for us in paying taxes, we will be greatful for it,” Deodene Niyonshuti, a trader in Kigali city said.

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