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“Local manufacturers in the country are on the verge of going on a strike,” Kandeh Calls For Dialogue 

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Hon. Mama Kandeh, Secretary General and Party Leader of GDC 

By Buba Gagigo 

Hon. Mama Kandeh, Secretary General and Party Leader of the opposition Gambia Democratic Party has called for urgent dialogue between the government and local manufacturers. The dispute centers around the award of contracts to SICPA company by The Gambia government.

In a press release dated March 25, 2024, the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) highlighted concerns raised by local manufacturers. The press statement disclosed that some local manufacturers are on the brink of a strike due to the financial burden imposed by the Digital Tax Stamp (stickers). Some businesses they report are facing exorbitant monthly charges for these stamps, jeopardizing their continued operations.

“In reference to The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) press release dated 25th March 2024, on the award of a contract to SICPA Company by The Gambia government, We are also privy to the information that the local manufacturers in the country are on the verge of going on a strike because they would not be able to incur charges on the Digital Tax Stamp (stickers). We have learned that some local manufacturers are expected to pay for the Tax Digital Stamp in a very huge amount in a month, which is unsustainable for the continued operation of their businesses,” the GDC leader said.

Last week, Kandeh advised the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration, and Employment to reconsider its contract with SICPA, emphasizing that it fails to align with the interests of local manufacturers.

“Our local manufacturers should be protected and provided with a conducive environment for their growth because this deal is only pushing them to close down operations. The plight of the manufacturers must be fairly considered because every government should work towards protecting their own businesses. The introduction of the Digital Tax Stamp will only influence the price of the manufactured goods, for which the burden must be shouldered by consumers,” Kandeh said.

The GDC leader pointed out that in other countries, the Tax Digital Stamp is provided to manufacturers free of charge. He urged the government to prioritize the well-being of local industries and prevent any disruptions to their operations.

“We cannot concentrate on making more revenue at the expense of our local manufacturers, whose contribution to our economy cannot go unrecognized. I once again urge the President to step in quickly to avoid any disruption in the smooth operation of these manufacturers,” he concluded.

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