ADDIS ABABA – Basic food items have been allowed to enter into Ethiopia duty-free as part of government’s effort to reduce the impact of the COVD-19 epidemic on society, the ministry of Trade and Industry announced.
The ministry put food, sugar, bread, rice, and baby milk among the basic food category that is allowed to be imported duty-free, said Wondimu Flate, Communication Affairs Director of the Ministry, in a statement the ministry issued on Friday.
According to the director, 5 liters of sesame oil, which was sold for 480 birr three months ago, is now being sold for 280-320 birr due to the lifting of the tax on food items.
Finally, only 10 licensed Diaspora account holders have been employed so far and preparations are underway to ensure that the palm oil, which is currently being distributed by the government, is being stored and imported, said Wondimu.
– Sugar Purchase –
Among the basic items, the Ministry said that it is currently importing 2 million quintals of sugar from abroad.
The purchase of sugar from abroad is aimed at meeting the demand arising in connection with Ethiopian New Year festivity which starts after a week, said Wondimu.
Desalegn Tesema, head of supply and warehouse at the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation, said there is sufficient stock of sugar that will last for the next two months.
According to the corporation, Ethiopia’s annual demand for sugar currently stands at 7.5 million quintals.