The tax payment upon importing materials from foreign countries to Ethiopia costs more than the sum of the purchase cost of the materials itself. Luckily, recently, they have improved tax for those materials related to agriculture. This is a good step but, still it is not enough to bring a change in the country.
Assuming a car costs $24, 000 including transport and insurance cost. The payable tax upon importing the car costs more $30,376.83. This is an addition on top of the amount of purchase cost. A 125% additional payment from the original cost of the car is irrational. What does it mean to request a pay more than the purchase value of the material itself? Is this logical? calculate the importation tax online here
This means a doctor cannot import a microscope or an engineer cannot import a Theodolite or Total Station due to the high tax cost incurred on materials. Is that helping the country?
Still, those tax exempted list of materials are not exhaustive, it needs reevaluation. There are lots of chemicals that help run industries and needs to be tax exempted.
It is imaginable that having one small material may bring big progress or solve a big problem. Then why high cost on importing materials? It must be recognized that even customers do have a right to choose. If one chooses to drink Heineken beer his choice should be respected and he could be able to pay less.
It is obvious that one cannot produce or fabricate all materials from scratch. It is customary to buy certain materials from other countries. There is a question of availability of raw materials as well. It is impossible to produce everything in one place. Especially, in a country like Ethiopia, this is the reason why the cost of importing materials has to be easy. Otherwise the country s’ progress will take longer, and as a result, poverty stays long. Other options also must be considered to put the country into a competition such as allowing foreign factories to enter and work, if they choose to.
The idea of the high tax might be imposed, among others, simply to discourage citizens from importing materials using hard currency, thinking that this helps minimize the hard currency expenditure. Moreover, it encourages buying materials produced in the country. However, the same law discourages people who do have hard currency deposits outside of the country. Additionaly, there is no much materials to buy that are produced in the country as well. This is an old way of thinking and should be modernized with modern world thinking and interactions. Otherwise, the country will fall into recurrent poverty.
Even highly developed countries import similar materials that can be produced in their own country. just simply to have a choice. It is not bad to import things from other countries; it is simply exchanging knowledge and resources. Importing materials that are not available in the country help the country to stay competitive in the market such as tourism etc.
What do you tell a tourist if he can’t find what he needs in the country? Oh! we don’t like this material………no! no! we do not like it! we don’t like Mexican PIZZA! we don’t like rice….. we only like injera! ………….please respect the choice of others! Everyone has the right to enjoy whatever he likes. It is barbaric and primitive not to let others choose for themselves and enjoy their choice.