The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment in a recent media dispatch has disclosed that after a fruitful discussion, stakeholders in the livestock sector and government have unanimously reached an agreement and waived all import duties, domestic taxes on livestock ahead of the Muslims feast of tobaski.
Kudos to the government and its partnership for their bold move, which are all geared towards ensuring easy and affordable livestock prices in the country.
The new measures would greatly help ensure an facilitate easy importation of livestock into the country
However, we only hope that the duty waived on import duties on livestock is also translated in the market price of livestock.
Many times, one would hear stories especially from livestock dealers about some difficulties they went through at entry points, river crossing points and even days leading to tobaski.
Past years, many would attest to the excessive price tag to ram. In fact, it has reached a point where only wealthy or those from advantageous families could afford the price of ram during tobaski.
This has forced many to make alternative decisions by teaming up in groups to buy a bull or cow and distribute it among seven people.
With the sky rocket price of rams, even small family heads are feeling the pinch. Amid soaring prices of basic food communities, the cost of buying clothing and cost of sewing for children and other essentials needs, plus money to cater for sacrificial meat, is just way too expensive.
This above mentioned needs in monetary terms is way above the monthly earning of average Gambian, even with the so-called one-by-six included.
Therefore, we commend the government for taking these bold measures to help Gambians.
However, security forces should be vigilant to ensure that unscrupulous dealers don’t misuse this opportunity to their selfish advantage.
They cannot benefit from the duty waive and still sell their livestock at a soaring price.
That will only render the purpose meaningless. So we call on security personnel to ensure sanity in the whole deal and always be on alert to discourage such ‘greedy habits’ by unscrupulous businessmen.