Congo (RDC): Vital Kamerhe Advocates for the Extension of VAT Suspension to Counter Cement Price Hike

In response to the rising cement prices in the DRC, Vital Kamerhe, the Minister of National Economy, recommends extending the VAT suspension to maintain market competitiveness and support the construction sector.

Congo (RDC): Vital Kamerhe Advocates for the Extension of VAT Suspension to Counter Cement Price Hike
Photo by Badibanga Roger / Unsplash

During the 124th council of ministers meeting on February 9, 2024, at the African Union City, the DRC's Minister of National Economy, Vital Kamerhe, addressed the significant issue of rising cement prices, which have escalated from 9 to 11 USD per bag in the market. Kamerhe convened major sector stakeholders for a comprehensive analysis to swiftly respond to this critical situation, given its impact on the construction sector, a key driver of economic growth.

The reintroduction of the 16% Value Added Tax (VAT) and increases in existing taxes have been identified as primary factors behind the price surge, leading to a loss of competitiveness against neighboring countries like Angola and Congo-Brazzaville. Kamerhe proposed the reimplementation of the VAT suspension in the cement and real estate sectors, monitoring all mentioned taxes and increases, and further examination of the issue by the government's Economic and Financial Commission (Ecofin), involving relevant ministries and cement producers.

This approach aims to reduce cement prices in the market, addressing the VAT suspension measure that expired on December 31, 2023, following two decrees signed by Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge two years ago. These decrees, initially enacted in 2022 and extended until the end of 2023, are part of the government's efforts to mitigate the effects of the Ukraine war on essential goods and the cement and real estate sectors.

Source: Actualité.cd