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Beverage companies and commercial banks dominated last week's event held at the Grand Palace up at Arat Kilo. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) handed out recognition awards to over 300 taxpayers for their "integrity" in paying their dues to the state. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Le'ake Ayalew (centre), a minister of Revenues, and Shimelis Abdisa, president of Oromia Regional State. The honorees included state-owned enterprises such as Ethio telecom and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). Ethio telecom generated over 56.5 billion Br in revenues last year.


Private companies, such as BGI Ethiopia, Heineken, and WeBuild S.P.A Ethiopia Branch (formerly Salini Impregilo S.P.A), the contractor hired to build the civil works on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), were also present. Of the top 30 large taxpayers, seven were beverage companies and another seven commercial banks. Last year's version of the event saw 200 taxpayers awarded for their diligence. The number has grown, and government tax revenues have reached a record-high 279 billion Br last year, an 18pc jump.


Tax officials claim the figure represents 96.4pc of the target, although the war in the north has prevented them from collecting around eight billion Birr from Tigray Regional State. The war is putting a strain on public finance, and with development partners threatening to cut budget support and impose sanctions over the ensuing humanitarian crisis, authorities will likely apply more pressure on taxpayers in a bid to compensate.


"A country that can't earn enough revenues from domestic taxpayers will be forced to appear before prosperous countries begging for money that won't even be enough," said Prime Minister Abiy.



PUBLISHED ON Oct 23,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1121]


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