By Fatoumatta K. Jallow
The chairman of the Latrikunda Sabiji Market has called for the government to intervene to reduce the heavy burden of dues levied on them.
Badou Faal Chairman Latrikunda Sabiji Market said the market vendors are well known for payment of their dues.
He added that he has been in the market for about 27 years and his people have never been confronted on tax evasion till this year. He also said they are paying three dues which are KMC dues, licence fee and GRA dues every year which he holds to be very costly on them. He said it is only the market where they pay both KMC dues and license and there are no other sectors that does that country wide.
“We are pleading with the government to remove the heavy GRA dues on us,” he said. He added that it is difficult for a single business to pay three dues which he described as a burden on them. He said they are paying the KMC dues though it is heavy on them but it is reasonable because it has erected toilets, collects daily garbage and also they are responsible for the security of the market among others.
He said the claim that they are not paying tax is not true because they are paying all the three dues and they have been paying it regularly.
He said GRA begun collecting taxes from the markets less than five years ago and it has led to many people forsaking the markets because they cannot afford to pay the GRA tax, Licence and KMC dues all in the same year.
He argued that the dues they pay are not feasible because they pay every expense of their business such as rent and electricity at very high rates.
They call on the government to look into their affairs because that is their primary responsibility. He said if the government wants to know more, then they are invited to come to the market and hear from them.
He decried the fluctuation of business which means sometimes people come and go home without any single income but yet still every month KMC officials will come to them asking for their duties which he described to be a burden on them.
He said many of the businessmen are petty traders who have very little capital running small shops and stalls but yet they are charged with very heavy dues. He said the government should act according to the English proverb which reads “cut your coat according to your size”.
By Fatoumatta K. Jallow