October 12

Finance Minister Rejects Cigar Surtax

Rabat – Economy and finance minister Mohamed Boussaïd has rejected an amendment of the Finance Act, which would have raised the internal tax on cigars.In a meeting at the House of Councillors on Monday May 29, Boussaïd denied the amendment to the Finance Act of 2017, which would have imposed a tax between MAD 500-1000 for each unit of 1000 cigars.The bill had been proposed by the labour union Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT). One of its members, Abdelhak Hissan, suggested that the revenues from this supplementary tax should be given to programs dedicated to fighting against lung cancer. Boussaïd explained why he rejected the amendment, saying that a surtax would pave the way for smuggling of cigars, an item loved by the wealthy. The minister added that the tax rates are similar to those in European countries.Cigarette prices are due to increase within the next six months and Boussaïd believes that further tax increases within the tobacco industry will harm the business climate for producers and importers within the sector. read more