Tax Incentives for Alcohol, Tobacco Were a ‘Big Mistake’

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Providing blanket five-year tax holidays to all foreign investors in recent years was a “big mistake” that will be fixed when a new investment law comes into effect next year, a senior official at Myanmar’s investment body has said.

U Aung Naing Oo, director general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), was addressing a group of businesspeople at an event held by the Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce in Yangon in November.

“We made a big mistake in 2012 with the foreign investment law and in 2013 with the Myanmar Citizen’s Investment law because whoever obtained a permit from the Myanmar Investment Commission could then enjoy a five-year tax holiday,” he said.

“So therefore I think Myanmar is the only country in the world to give tax incentives to cigarette manufacturers or alcohol manufacturers. Those businesses should not be allowed any corporate tax incentives.”

The new investment law, passed in October and due to come into full effect before the next financial year, restricts tax holidays to certain areas and gives the government more discretion over granting them.

Several global cigarette and alcohol companies have entered Myanmar since the start of economic reforms, including British American Tobacco, Heineken and Carlsberg.

 

Source: Myanmar Business Today

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