Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi on Sunday approved extra taxes on
beer, alcohol, cigarette and soda.
The tax hikes are included in Law No. 102 for the year 2012 issued by Morsi,
which amended some provisions of the General Tax Law No. 11 for the year 1991.
According to new amendments, the tax hike is 50 percent for cigarette, 25
percent for soda, 200 percent for beer, 150 percent for alcohol and 150 percent
for tobacco."The amendments are part of the government commitment to the
reform program agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund to get a loan
of 4.8 billion U.S. dollars," Ehab al-Desouki, head of Economic Research
Center of Sadat Academy, told Xinhua. "The decision is right but the
timing is wrong," al-Desouki added, citing that the tax hikes are imposed
on commodities that are actually bad for health, "but they come at a time
of tension, turmoil and protests."
Morsi's Nov. 22 constitutional declaration, which aimed at expanding the
president's powers by making all his decrees issued since he came into office
final and above judicial appeal, triggered waves of protests nationwide and
deadly clashes between his opponents and supporters. The outraged judiciary
authorities have vowed not to supervise the constitution referendum slated for
Dec. 15. (Xinhua)