The Ethiopian Bottled Water, Soft drink, Fruits and Vegetable Processing/ Manufacturing Industries Association (EBSFMIA) said it has requested the government to lift the excise tax levied on bottled water.
Ashenafi Merid, General Manager of the Association told Ethio Trade and Investment Show that bottled water producers have been paying an excise tax of 10% in a month.
“On average, a single company pays close to 4 million Birr in a month,” said Ashenafi.
Water is a basic need categorized as food. But excise tax is indirect tax levied on such a basic need, he argues. “Bottled water associations are the only ones that are paying excise tax on such basic needs,” he said.
“We are working with the Ministry of Finance so that the excise tax to be lifted,” he added.
Raw materials price hike is another challenge mentioned by Ashenafi. He explained that they requested Addis Abeba Trade Bureau for a remedy but the matter received no response yet.
A total investment rate of 4.5 billion Birr has been so far registered by bottled water manufacturers. There are 106 bottled water companies in Ethiopia.
Bottled water industry is growing at a rate of 17.5% per annum and it created close to 71 thousand jobs.