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Chamber of commerce calls on government to widen tax base

Chamber of commerce calls on government to widen tax base

The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) called on the government to widen the tax base to include businesses that are avoiding paying tax by hiding their correct income.

According to the NCCI there a number of businesses, mostly foreign owned that do not provide tax receipts, with some refusing electronic bank transfers which often create a suspicions trail.

The Chamber feels that the government is struggling to increase tax revenue because the tax base is not wide enough. NCCI added that the government appears to be quick to punish tax payers who fail to pay on time while turning a blind eye to some foreign businesses who do not pay taxes at all.

We have also noted that there are a number of foreign owned businesses which still do not bank their income in local banks and appear to prefer keeping cash. We suspect that such businesses behave in that manner because they have something to hide to the Namibian Government,” NCCI Chief Executive Officer, Tarah Shaanika said.

Shaanika added that these suspicions have been reported to the government on numerous occasions, however not much is being done to investigate such businesses and confirm or disprove the Chamber’s suspicions.

Many businesses face bankruptcy due to prolonged delay in payment for services delivered to the Government as well as tax arrears which if demanded to be paid in full, will threaten their continued existence. Yet, we have foreign businesses getting away with non-compliance to tax. We have serious doubts about the effectiveness of the tax amnesty announced by the Ministry of Finance as an appropriate tool to increase tax collections,” Shaanika said.

Shaanika said that this amnesty was introduced at a wrong time, when most businesses are struggling and their capacity to pay tax arrears has weakened significantly.

We doubt that the second amnesty will do the trick in collecting more revenue, considering the economic hardships which define the business environment in Namibia at the moment. The Government must rather consider widening the tax base, hunt down those businesses which hide income to avoid tax and give adequate support to local businesses to grow,” he added.


 

About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.