Finance ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have given thumbs up for imposing a 100 percent selective tax on tobacco and related products equal to customs duties of these products, Kuwait's Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh has stated. The decision was taken upon a recommendation from the third meeting of representatives of the GCC customs union and a team of the GCC unified tax system to study imposition of selective taxes on tobacco and its related products as well as its value and levying means, the Al-Salah, also Deputy Prime Minister, told KUNA after heading Kuwait's delegation to the 101st meeting the GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee.
Al-Salah added that the GCC ministers have also approved a draft law on protection of consumers in Gulf states and referred to the upcoming GCC summit for deliberations and final approval. The conferees also assigned GCC finance undersecretaries to prepare a thorough study on a proposal to impose a value added tax in the Gulf countries and present it to the upcoming committee meeting, he said.
Al-Saleh unveiled that the ministers tackled different aspects of financial and economic cooperation among Gulf countries: mainly those related to the GCC monetary council, customs union, common market, railway network and the higher education quality assurance network.
They also discussed recommendations to exempt raw materials of the GCC-made products from custom duties and to establish a judicial body to deal with the GCC economic disputes as well as latest efforts to counter money laundering and to dry up financial resources of terror groups, the minister pointed out.
On the joint meeting with the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Al-Saleh said that the IMF chief has presented three papers to the meeting on the impacts of the oil price retreat on the economies of the GCC countries and the required measures to help avoid huge budget deficits and or any other financial problems.