Banjul Breweries Ltd. is planning to recall some of its employees who were made redundant early this year due to excise tax increment.
In May, the brewer, popularly known locally as Jelbrew (also its most popular beer) announced it has laid off 18 staff, and up to 25 more were on the line for redundancy. It further threatened to scale down or stop operations over the government’s new policy which hiked excise tax from 10 to 75 percent.
But recently, the Parliament approved the reduction of the tax from 75 to 35 percent.
The Marketing Manager of the brewer, Borry Darboe, told The Chronicle that plans were underway to recall some of the staff whose services were terminated.
“The Management will be having a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the fate of the redundant staff. I can confirm to you that for now we are ready to recall some of them as soon as the management takes a definitive position.”
Darboe said though the company was pleased with the reduction of excise tax, but added that the new tariff did not commensurate with the level of production. According to him, Banjul Breweries Ltd. has incurred huge losses during the month of April to July that resulted to staff redundancy.
He said the company would continue to engage the National Assembly and other stakeholders in a bid to further scale down the excise tax, arguing without that it would be difficult for Banjul Breweries to recover from its losses.
According to official records, Banjul Breweries made a tax payment of D132m for the whole of last year. But under the 75% system, it paid D97m just from January to April.
In May, Darboe described the new tax policy as discriminatory, alleging that the company was not engaged by the authorities before the policy came into force. He suggested at the time that 20-25 percent increment could have been acceptable.
“It’s like they are taking 90% of our business and we are left with only 10% because 75% plus VAT 15% is 90%. From 10% balance, the company pays its staff salaries and other overheads,” Darboe told The Chronicle earlier.