Delta introduces tax incentives to save SMEs

The Delta State Government has reeled out tax relief incentives to some categories of Small and Medium Enterprises in its determination to cushion the effects of
COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Those expected to benefit from the gesture include private school owners, hoteliers, private hospital owners, potable water providers, transport companies and owners of eateries.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu and the Chairman, Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr Monday Onyeme, who disclosed this while briefing journalists in Asaba, said the tax relief incentives were to enable beneficiaries remain in business despite the devastating effects of coronavirus pandemic.

Aniagwu pointed out that the state government had taken proactive steps in the past to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 that had led to the drop in the price of crude oil in the international market.

He listed some of the steps taken by the state government to include downward review of the state 2020 budget, provision of food items in the form of palliatives for the less privileged in the state as well as the establishment of isolation and treatment centres for patients with a view to flattening the curve of the pandemic.

The commissioner disclosed that the World Bank offered the state government $4.5m as grant for budget discipline, due process, transparency and accountability in its financial transactions.

Speaking on the development, Onyeme explained that the tax waiver could also be enjoyed by any other entrepreneur in the informal sector through application.

He said that the essence of the tax relief incentives was to keep businesses afloat to prevent loss of jobs.

The Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr Barry Gbe and his finance counterpart, said that the tax waiver would not in anyway affect the implementation of the 2020 budget of the state government that was reviewed downward from N395bn to N282bn.

They stressed that the incentive was part of government’s magnanimity towards making the informal sector to be economically vibrant and viable, noting that a machinery had been put in place to stop double taxation, to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive despite the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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