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Saudi Arabia introduces 'sin tax'

Tax imposed on gambling, alcohol, energy drinks and tobacco, products that are harmful to society, reports Time magazine. (Subscribe to the Time magazine in Pakistan).

UAE to introduce tax on tobacco products, energy and soft drinks from Q4 2017

Saudi Arabia has implemented 100 percent excise tax on tobacco products and energy drinks, and 50 percent tax on soft drinks from Sunday, 11 June 2017.

Last month, the kingdom announced imposing excise tax from June 11, after the Gulf Cooperation Council unified value-added tax (VAT) and excise tax treaties were ratified in May 2017.

The UAE is set to introduce the excise tax from the fourth quarter.

Price of a 250ml can of “Code Red” energy drink increased to SR4 from SR2, while Red Bull is being priced between SR10 and SR12, Saudi Gazette quoted industry sources, as saying.

Without naming any soft drink manufacturer, the daily said a global soft drink maker reduced its can size to 330ml from 355ml as it introduced a 50 percent price hike.

Officials of Saudi General Authority of Zakat and Tax, the entity responsible for collecting VAT and excise tax, have told local media that they expect excise tax revenues of $1.87 billion (SR7bn) in just six months.

While in March, UAE Federal National Council, Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Al Tayer said tax on tobacco is expected to bring in $545 million (AED2 billion) in annual revenues, he gave no revenue estimate from the soft drinks segment.

In April, Adrienne D’Rose, senior manager, Deloitte, who attended the Ministry of Finance briefing on excise tax, told Arabian Business that the excise tax will be payable monthly by registered businesses, on the 15th day of the following month and companies that resort to “stockpiling” will face penalties.

Brian Conn, partner, tax advisory services, BDO, told this website earlier that the issue of increasing price or absorbing VAT/excise tax will be a major concern for companies selling small value items.

Arabian Business has approached a number of global energy and soft drink manufacturers for comments.

How Saudi Kingdom survived a rebellion (The Economist Special Report - Subscribe to the Economist magazine in Pakistan)

Posted on June 13, 2017 

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India's River Diversion Plan and South Asia's Waters

More dams are to come, as India’s need to power its economy means it is quietly spending billions on hydropower in Kashmir. The Senate report totted up 33 hydro projects in the border area with Pakistan. The state’s chief minister, Omar Abdullah, says dams will add an extra 3,000MW to the grid in the next eight years alone. Some analysts in Srinagar talk of over 60 dam projects, large and small, now on the books. (This special report has appeared in the Bulletin on Current Affairs - February 2012, you may have to Buy the print edition to read full story)

More in the Edition:

South Asia's Water - a growing rivalry

Indian, Pakistani & Chinese Border Disputes

India's River Diversion Plan: Its impact on Bangladesh

Water Crisis can Trigger nuclear war in South Asia

Reclaimed Water - the Western Experience

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