Colombian Prez touts tax-free day for economic recovery

Updated: Nov 22,2020 05:12 GMT

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Bogota, Nov 22 (IANS) Colombian President Ivan Duque has urged the public to utilize the year's third and final VAT-free Day to re-energize the country's pandemic-hit economy.

For 24 hours, the value-added tax (VAT), which in Colombia is set at 19 per cent, was suspended on all retail sales on Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency.

"It is a very important day to reactivate our economy and to do it responsibly," said Duque, calling on people to shop for the holidays and avoid crowds, wear face masks and maintain social distancing.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism reported initial results of a more than 30 per cent uptick in sales, which are expected to top 5 trillion pesos ($1.3 billion).

The previous VAT-free Days were in June and July.

The National Administrative Department of Statistics reported on Tuesday that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2020 dropped 9 per cent year-on-year following the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of Sunday, Colombia's overall coronavirus caseload and death toll stood at 1,240,493 and 35,104, respectively, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

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