It's unbelievable that Fiji water has been targeted for fundraising for the government! Heaven's sake, when you are on a good thing, stick to it! It's a good industry and now becoming wrecked through an excessive tax and excise. If soft drink duty is o3%, why is water 20%?
from Fiji Village:
Bottled Water Industry Stops Production
Publish date/time: 04/07/2008 [19:12]
Stakeholders in the bottle water industry have announced that all production of bottled water will be ceased and over 700 employees will remain without work until a solution is found to their grievances against the new duty imposed on bottled water.
Speaking on behalf of the 10 water bottling companies Island Chill Director Jay Dayal confirms that all production of bottled water will cease until further notice.
Dayal confirms that all employees of Please Beverage, Fiji Water, VTY, Mr. Pure, Island Chill, Aqua Pacific, Diamond Aqua, Tapoo's Beverage, Fresh Spring Limited and Mineral Waters of Fiji have been sent home as the new tax structure makes it highly unprofitable for the industry to bottle water.
The Interim government has imposed a 20 cents per litre export duty on all the mineral water exports and a 20 cents per litre excise duty on mineral water sold locally.
Attempts to speak to Interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry in the last hour proved futile. Join Fijivillage news tomorrow for developments on this story.
And, from Fijilive:
Interim Minister for Finance, National Planning, Sugar Industry and Public Utilities (Water & Energy) submitted to Cabinet that the major reason for the new duties was to stimulate conservation of Fiji’s scarce natural resources.
“Mineral water is a scare (huh?) resource which will deplete and a fair share of returns has to be passed on to the nation,” Chaudhry said in his submission.
Chaudhry could not be reached on his mobile this afternoon when contacted for comments following the bottlers’ decision to immediately cease production.
The statement said that by way of comparison, the carbonated soft drink industry in Fiji was only subjected to a $0.03 cents per litre excise tax and no export duty.