Congo to suspend value-added tax exemption for mining imports

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KINSHASA, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo's government has decided to suspend the value-added tax (VAT) exemption on mining companies' imports in an effort to bolster state revenue, the budget minister said.

In a letter dated July 31 and seen by Reuters on Tuesday, Budget Minister Jean-Baudouin Mayo instructed the finance minister to move to implement the decision taken at last week's cabinet meeting.

Congo, which is Africa's top copper producer, originally agreed to suspend the tax in July 2016 to help companies during a commodity price downturn and to pay down hundreds of millions of dollars in VAT reimbursements owed to the companies.

Congo's economy has been badly damaged by the coronavirus pandemic and is forecast to contract by 2.4% this year.

(Reporting by Stanis Bujakera; writing by Hereward Holland; Editing by Aaron Ross and David Evans)

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