Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on Monday accused Allana Potash, the Canadian company which was engaged in potash mineral exploration and development project in the Afar Regional State, of tax evasion. In a press conference held in his office on Monday morning, Prime Minister Hailemariam was asked about the state of the Ethiopian mining sector and the exit of prominent mining companies such as Allana Potash and Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL). Hailemariam said that the case of Allana was related to tax evasion. “Allana owes the Ethiopian government some two billion birr in tax. Allana should pay this and the Ethiopian government will use legal means to recover its money,” the prime minister said. Allana Potash, which was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange through its subsidiary company Allana Potash Afar, was prospecting for potash deposit in the Danakil Depression in North East Ethiopia for more than six years and spent tens of millions of dollars on the exploration project. The company discovered 3.2 billion tons of potash which could be mined for 50 years. The company had the plan to invest 750 million dollars in developing the potash mine and export one million tons of potash yearly generating 430 million dollars. In 2013 the then Ministry of Mines granted Allana large-scale mining license that enables the company to mine the potash deposit. However, due to the commodity market crash particularly the nose-diving price of potash in the global market, Allana was unable to raise the required investment capital to finance the project. To avoid massive shareholders dilution the management and board of Allana Potash decided to sell the company. Accordingly, in March 2015 the board accepted the buyout offer from ICL, the 6th largest fertilizer producer in the world. At the moment, officials of the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas were reluctant to recognize the deal citing that they were not pre-informed about the transaction, a claim which executives of Allana refute. Following the acquisition of Allana Potash, ICL applied to the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas to transfer the mining license of Allana to ICL. While the ministry was evaluating the request made by Allana Potash Afar, a unit of ICL was allowed to continue the mine development work. Before the mining license transfer was made the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) claimed Allana Potash Afar to pay some 55 million dollars in tax. The tax claim includes the withholding and VAT tax arrears, which was supposed to be paid by Allana, and capital gain tax for the acquisition of Allana. ICL rejected the tax claim and subsequently the board of ICL decided to terminate the potash project. In a statement issued in October 2016, the board stated that Allana Potash Afar was unable to carry out its work due to the obstacles posed by the Ethiopian government. “The board has taken this decision in view of the Ethiopian government’s failure to provide the necessary infrastructure and regulatory framework for the project and follows the Ethiopian tax authority’s rejection of Allana Afar’s appeal regarding the unjustified and illegal tax assessment which Allana Afar has declined to pay. In particular, as already notified to the government, Ethiopia’s acts and missions have been in breach of, inter alia, the protections to which the investment is entitled under an international investment treaty,” the company’s statement read.
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The Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) disclosed that measures have been taken on 640 leaders following the in-depth evaluations carried out within the organization.
Rural political affairs head at the organization; Amanuel Amare told ENA that the measures were taken on the leaders due to their failure to appropriately serve the public.
Accordingly, the organization has decided to suspend 22 leaders from their membership, while to take 13 others to law, Amanuel said.
The remaining leadership, from the highest to the lowest level, removed from their position.
According to Amanuel, the in-depth reform, the organization has been carried out, will be strengthened through the public evaluation forums, which started on Friday in the region.
Residents in the regional state are discussing on the outcomes of the in-depth evaluation since yesterday.
According to Amanuel, the public forums being held across the regional state is expected to give momentum to the in-depth reform program.
by yami / 57 Views
Roman Tesfaye, the First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, has been honored with a Special Congregational Proclamation by the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, USA and presented with the CELD Global Inspirational Leadership Award 2016.
First Lady Roman was presented with the awards at the annual summit of South American, African, Middle East and Asia women summit which took place on 13 December 2016 in Dubai. The awards presented to First Lady Roma Tesfaye are in recognition of her outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in improving the lives of the people of Ethiopia, especially women and children, directly contributing to fast-tracking the development of the African Region.
The presentation of the award automatically qualified First Lady Roman to be inducted into the Global Women Leaders Hall of Fame.
Up on receiving the award, First Lady Roman said empowering women socially, politically and economically requires high-level political commitment and investment. “But is a commitment and investment worth making as the benefits are manifolds in the short and long-run,” she said.
She also commented that what is good for women is good for the economy as a whole and emphasized the importance of nurturing women leaders in the business, political and academic spheres.
by yami / 63 Views
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Awramba Times (Addis Ababa) – Ethiopian security agents have arrested Merera Gudina (PhD), chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress today. Merera was arrested at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport while returning back to his home country from abroad.
Reliable sources disclosed to Awramba Times that the cause for Merera Gudina’s arrest is trespassing the state of emergency rulings. More updates to come