Somalia: Puntland leader condemns business community for 'rejecting taxes' 5 Sep 5, 2011 - 8:46:04 AM
The leader of Somalia's Puntland government has condemned the country’s business community for rejecting to pay taxes, Radio Garowe reports.
Speaking at the UN-backed Somali National Consultative Conference, which opened in Mogadishu on 4 September 2011, President Farole of Puntland addressed the business communities of Somalia. READ: Somalia National Conference opens in Mogadishu
"There are those who profit from war and they do not recognize the destruction of war. Some among the business community in Somalia is among those who profit from war,” said President Farole.
He condemned the attitude of Somalia’s business class, saying: “They do not pay taxes. We all know that taxes pay for security and development.”
President Farole stated that Somali business communities do not pay taxes directly to governments, but pay extortion funds to terrorist groups like Al Shabaab.
“If you do not pay taxes voluntarily, you will pay in other ways. We all know Al Shabaab forcefully extorts money from businesspeople,” Puntland’s leader said.
Continuing, he said: “Business communities refuse to pay the required taxes, which are necessary to pay for the salaries of security forces. Governments are too ashamed to extort money from businesspeople, but the time will come when he who avoids paying taxes is equal to he who destroys the nation. They must be held accountable.”
President Farole’s strong warning to the business communities of Somalia comes during a historic speech he delivered at the Somali National Consulative Conference, which was organized by the UN to be held in Mogadishu and attended by Somali leadership, including TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gas, and Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden.
Puntland is a stable region located in northeastern Somalia. Puntland has its own state government, flag and security forces, with a public finance system and independent media. The state has enjoyed relative stability over the 20 years, as much of southern Somalia suffered from chronic conflict, displacement and famine.