By Godfrey Olukya 27-12-2012
Some conservative Muslims in Tunisia have challenged the Islamist-led ruling coalition in Tunisia over raising alcohol duty.
They say that by raising the duty on alcohol, they would be sending a message that drinking is legal and therefore good. One of the leaders of the group against taxing alcohol, Abduluhan Sharif said, ‘Our faith prohibits taking alcohol. It is therefore wrong for the government to profit from an activity prohibited by the faith.’
Tunisia’s government raised alcohol duty on Wednesday in efforts to improve on tax collection.
According to the acting finance minister, Slim Besbes, the constituent assembly approved the budget measure aimed at raising 170 million dinars (equivalent of 100 million US dollars) legislators from Ennahda party which leads the government reportedly voted in favor of raising the duty but a few legislators from rival parties opposed the move saying it was against Islam faith.
The government argues that it does not want to promote the taking of alcohol in the country as some opponents are saying. It however acknowledges that much alcohol is consumed by visiting tourists from allover the world and hence taxing it appropriately is beneficial to the country.