Somalia has doubled taxes levied on the leafy stimulant khat which is mainly imported from Kenya and Ethiopia in what is going to further put into distress exporters of the product from the two countries which are already reeling from the suspension of business owing to COVID-19.
According to a report published on a Somalia news website, Hiiraan Online, Finance Ministers from the Federal Member States and Federal Government agreed to increase taxes levied on the khat from $2.5 per kilogram to $4.
An order suspending imports of khat into Somalia is still in force despite the country lifting international flights ban.
Anti-khat lobbyists in Somalia have heightened their campaigns to persuade the government to ban the import of khat. However, the commodity generates considerable revenues to the Federal Government.
According to the 2020 National Budget, the government estimates to generate $14 million from taxes on khat.