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Businessmen and women filing through the overcrowded hall of the Bole District Office, in a bid to finish paying their annual taxes on Thursday, July, 28, 2011, as tax season descends. This year’s tax season, besides the regular hustle and bustle, has also brought a few surprises for taxpayers, particularly those classified under Category C, which is designated for small businesses that are not required to keep records of their financial transactions, as their annual income is less than 100,000 Br. Businesses’ now have to pay what they perceive is an exaggerated amount on their Turnover Tax (ToT), pushing some to close their business. More Here


CBE Eyes Robust Year Ahead, Targets Profit at 5.9bn Br


When senior managers of the state owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) and its board of directors met last week at the Axum Hotel here in Addis Abeba, they were pleased with the positive results from operations in the concluded financial year. They also concluded their two-day meeting by setting an ambitious target of boosting the bank’s profit before tax for the upcoming operation year by 45.5pc, from the 4.1 billion Br CBE has already declared in its statement that is yet to be audited.


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Cement Factories Team Up on Coal Purchases

Following the government directive for cement factories to first use pet coke, and later coal, as alternative sources of energy, Messebo Cement Factory and National Cement SC have jointly imported 41,000tn of coal, at a cost of around 7.6 million dollars from South Africa.


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Commercial Bank Auctions off Mam Trading Assets

The Federal Supreme Court has issued an order to freeze 11 million Br worth of Mam Trading Plc’s assets which are to be auctioned by the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE).


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Anti-Corruption Commission to Sweep across Nation

The Federal Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (FEAC) is to conduct the second national baseline corruption survey at a cost of 7.9 million Br in this fiscal year.


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Libya Oil Warms up to Settlement with Tax Auth.

Abdulsalah Yuneus, the United Kingdom (UK) based general manager of Libya Oil Ethiopia, has requested an arbitration settlement on the condition that Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) removes the interest and penalties, senior officials told Fortune.


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Agency Privatises 25 Worth 63.6bn Br

The Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency (PPESA) transferred 25 enterprises worth 63.6 billion Br during the 2010/11 fiscal year, while it has received 2.6 billion Br profit before taxes from the sale of products and services from the enterprises it administers.


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From One Chamber to Another?

Teshome Beyene, who has served as Secretary General of the Addis Abeba Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA), has resigned from his position on Monday, July 25, 2011, insider sources disclosed to Fortune.


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Construction Grace Period for United Insurance

The Addis Abeba City Administration has granted a grace period to United Insurance SC for the construction of a mixed building project following United’s application on July 27, 2011.


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Southern Region Raises Fiscal Budget to 10.8bn Br

The Southern Regional State’s Council endorsed the region's budget of 10.8 billion Br for the next fiscal year, on July 18, 2011, a four billion Br increase from what the council endorsed last year.


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Hotels under Construction, Expansion Dodge New Ratings

Hotels undergoing construction and expansion will not be included in the upcoming national star rating system, announced the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoTC), on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.


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Court Sentences Privatisation Agency's Cheque Fraudster

Ibrahim Taha, 32, who was charged with presenting forged Certified Payments Orders (CPO) to the Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency (PPESA) for the purchase of the Hawassa and Arbaminch Textile factories, has been sentenced to five years and nine months in prison, with a fine of 6,600 Br by the Federal High Court’s 13th Criminal Bench on July 29, 2011.


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Money Laundering Quartet Await Fate

Ayele Debela (a.k.a. IMF), Gebrekidan Beyene (a.k.a. Morocco), Lencha Zegeye and Kebede Tesera, who are serving long prison sentences at the Addis Abeba Prison Centre for tax evasion, illegal banking and money laundering, have to wait in jail for another four months, before hearing the decision on their appeal at the Federal Supreme Court Criminal Appeal Bench.


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Pause, Stop, Listen to Criticisms

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to innovate and lead in its philanthropic endeavours. With its 36.7 billion dollar endowment, the Gates Foundation is the largest charity in the world. The Foundation’s success is largely attributed to the business acumen of its founders, Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, both of whom have introduced the notion of “philantrocapitalism.”

This is largely due to the Foundation’s underlying philosophy of being a “catalyst for change,” according to Sylvia Mathews, president of the Global Development Program.

Mathews was deputy director of the powerful Office of Management and Budget during the Bill Clinton Administration; she also served as Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. Mathews joined the Foundation in 2001, and her current responsibilities require her to design and implement programmes to combat poverty across the world through agricultural development and financial services to the poor.

But these projects are not without controversy. There are critics who allege that the Foundation wants to turn the continent into a test ground for biotech companies in the West.

While visiting Ethiopia, Mathews sat with Tamrat G. Giorgis, managing editor, on July 17, 2011, at the Sheraton Addis, to reflect on why the foundation is criticised for trying to do good. 


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