Fiji Labour Party Leader and former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry says the Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad’s explanation on Corporate Tax exemption granted to water-bottling companies is full of holes.
In a statement, Chaudhry said that the Minister’s explanation does not make any sense.
Chaudhry said that the Minister wants people to believe that local bottling companies proposed a hike in the Water Resource Tax (WRT) in return for corporate tax exemption just to help their foreign competitor claim tax credits in its home country.
He called on the Prime Minister to explain how tax credits can be claimed if tax is not paid (exempted) in the first place.
“Is that not elementary, Minister? So, how could you hurl such rubbish at the people and insult their intelligence?” he said.
“Secondly, Water Resource Tax and Corporate Tax are two distinct taxes not to be confused with each other.”
He said no tax credits can be claimed in respect of Water Resource Tax.
“Other local and foreign owned beverage companies pay both the taxes. Their corporate tax and excise tax rates were increased in the 23/24 Budget.
“Why then the corporate tax exemption for Water Bottlers?
“It just doesn’t make sense. We need to dig deeper,” Chaudhry added.
FijiLive has reached out to Professor Prasad for comments on the matter.