The Federal Executive Council has approved a bill that seeks to reduce import duties on tractors, buses and other motor vehicles. According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the bill, which was approved at the FEC meeting, will now be moved to the National Assembly for consideration and assent.
Ahmed explained that the need to reduce food inflation figures through one of the causative factors of high production cost – transportation – inspired the bill. The minister said that the bill also seeks to cut down taxes in some areas, especially for small businesses, in addition to those already reduced in the 2019 finance bill. According to her, “in producing this bill, what we were inadvertently doing was amending provisions in 13 different taxes which include the Capital Gains Tax Act, Companies Income Tax Act (CITA), Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act (IIDITRA), Personal Income Tax Act (PITA), Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act, Customs & Excise Tariff (Consolidation) Act, Value-Added Tax Act (VATA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Public Procurement Act.
“Some highlights of these provisions include amendments that we have had to make to provide incremental changes to tax laws. “These amendments include providing fiscal relief for corporate taxpayers, for instance by reducing the applicable minimum tax rate for two consecutive years. So from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 per cent. “These reforms will commence and will also be closely followed by the cessation rules for small businesses as well as providing incentives for mass transits by reducing import duties and the levies for large tractors, buses and other motor vehicles”.