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Daily Nation : February 18th 2014
34 | Business News Italian borrowing costs drop to eight-year low PARIS, Monday Italy’s borrowing costs dropped to an eight-year low today, after rating agency’s Moody raised outlook and as the country awaited a new reform-driven government. On Friday, Moody’s raised the outlook for the Italian economy from negative to stable, while holding its notation at “Baa2”. This is a signal that the agency does not intend to lower the rating further in the medium term. This brings substantial relief to public finances from dangerously high rates 18 months ago. The yield, which indicates the interest which Italy will have to offer when it next issues 10-year bonds to finance its public deficit and debt, has now fallen to the lowest level since February 2006. That date was before the global financial crisis, and 2006 The year when the borrowing rate was lower compared to what is being offered on the bonds then the debt crisis which threatened to break up the eurozone and put heavily indebted members such as Italy in severe difficulty. Italy, with the third-biggest economy in the eurozone after Germany and France, did not come close to needing a bailout, but confidence fell and its borrowing costs rose close to danger levels. (AFP) DAILY NATION Tuesday February 18, 2014 PROTEST |Where is our money? PHOTO | AFP Thai farmers shout slogans as they protest at the government’s repeatedly delayed payments for rice submitted to the pledging scheme at the government’s temporary office in Bangkok yesterday. COUNTERFEIT| War continues KRA acts to stem sale of fake products Taxman increases the number of goods that have to be marked with new excise stamps BY JOHN NJIRU firstname.lastname@example.org marked with new generation excise stamps as he moves to rid the market of counterfeits and to boost revenue collection. In a statement yesterday, T the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) said it will expand the use of electronic excise stamps. Currently, the only goods under the Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS) are tobacco, wines and spirits. Eliminate fraud “It is expected that KRA will effectively use EGMS to eliminate excise tax fraud usually executed through mis-declaration, under declaration or non-declaration of excisable goods,” said KRA’s acting deputy commissioner of marketing and communication Ezekiel Maru. The directive will apply to all excisable goods except motor vehicles meaning that he taxman has increased the number of goods that have to be soft drinks and mobile phones are expected to bear the new generation stamp. The EGMS came into force mid-June last year as part of KRA’s efforts to eradicate contraband costing the country billions of shillings every year. At the time, it was estimated that Kenya was losing about Sh70 billion annually due to collusion among stakeholders who use fake stamps and a lack of enforcement by relevant authorities. Trace product EGMS allows the taxman to track and trace a product through the value chain. The excise stamps, printed by Swiss-based security print firm SICPA, have invisible readable code which reduces aspects of forging. Retailers will be held crimi- nally liable if they accept stamps that have not been approved by the taxman. “In line with our taxpayers charter KRA will carry out a repeat nationwide sensitisation programme on EGMS targeting manufacturers, importers, retailers and enforcement authorities,” added Mr Maru. Digitise services This new initiative feeds into the Treasury’s bid to digitise services at KRA thereby reducing revenue leakages and address corruption. This includes rolling out iTax system.
February 17th 2014
February 19th 2014