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Thursday 18 April 2019

About 500,000 Tonnes of Flour Smuggled into Kyrgyzstan


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BISHKEK (24.kg) — Up to 500,000 tonnes of flour are smuggled into Kyrgyzstan each year, Ekmat Baibakpaev, MP, announced today at a meeting of Parliament.

According to him, over the last five years, flour production in the country has decreased by a third. While in 2014 the official import of flour was 460,000 tonnes, in 2018 it was only 78,000 tonnes.

“At least 3,000 of our citizens who worked in the factories have lost their jobs. Most of them have left the country to find work. We are probably the only ones who can do that with our industry. Today, 80% of the flour is imported from Kazakhstan. We are supporting its economy by closing our mills. Not a single mill has fulfilled its plan this year, there is no tax revenue — everything remains outstanding”, said Ekmat Baibakpaev.

He recalled that a bill had been introduced earlier that exempted imports of cereals intended for flour production from VAT, but that it had been abolished. There has been a draft law on mandatory fortification of flour and liability for the import of unenriched flour. But it has not been included in the new codes.

“If you look at the 500,000 tonnes of flour that are smuggled into the country, how much VAT do we lose? Our tax authorities cannot find the means. I can get you a billion soms. To do this, we must either open our own production or put a normal barrier at the border”, said the MP.

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