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There is a significant need for smart and technological financial solutions in the diamond industry

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Botswana diamond manufactures up-in-arms with government over levy

05 december 2014

Diamond manufactures in Botswana are not happy with government plans to introduce a training levy, which they say will take them out of business.
Mmegi reports that most of the 21 diamond cutting and polishing company in the southern African country would from this month be obliged to pay 0.2 percent of their turnover to government as training levy.
The turnover-related tax was introduced in 2008 to finance the provision of relevant training of the workforce, as an effort towards increasing their efficiency.
Companies can claim back the levy to fund training of their staff; however, they had been exempted from paying the levy for the past five years.
Although the 0.2 percent levy appeared to be insignificant for a sector that pays less tax, unnamed analysts cited by Mmegi claimed that the diamond manufactures were operating in murky waters due to high costs while recording low profit margins.
The combination of high rough prices and market-induced strain on the cutting and polishing business in Botswana had recently resulted in massive cutbacks.
 “Manufacturing centres such as India and others in that region are very competitive and centres such as Botswana find it more and more difficult to remain competitive,” said Botswana Diamond Manufacturers Association (BDMA) executive director Pauline Paledi.
“However, as a body representing the diamond manufacturers we wish to find a solution to the training levy concerns that will ensure skills development in the industry while the unique conditions of the local diamond industry are also considered.”

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished