Cigarette taxes to rise again on Egyptian market already besieged by smuggling

| December 10, 2012

The Egyptian government has announced a series of tax hikes that will see a 50 per cent increase in the retail price of cigarettes, according to a Bikya Masr story.

The tax hikes, which take in everything from alcohol to bottled water, from advertising to retailing and from energy prices to real estate, seem to have caught everybody off-guard, coming as they did on Sunday with less than a week before a constitutional referendum.

But the hikes were apparently forced on the government as part of the price for a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In April this year, a story reported that illicit cigarettes had taken 20 per cent ofEgypt’s market – up from an insignificant level 18 months previously – because of a series of sharp tax increases on licit cigarettes and because of problems with security in the country.

Category: Breaking News

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