Gov’t reminds Tongans overseas to take advantage of Gita tax-free before August 30

    Fakamanatu 'e ngata e 'ave me'akai mo e vala ta'etute ki Tonga' 'i he 'aho 30 'o e māhina ka tu'u' hili ia ha māhina 'e ono hili 'a e tō 'a e matangi ko Kita'. Ka 'e kei hoko atu pe hono ta'etute 'e he pule'anga' 'a e koloa langa' toki ngata ia ki Fepueli 2020.

    The Ministry of Revenue and Customs has reminded Tongans overseas they only have five more weeks to send foodstuffs and clothing to Tonga without tax and duty.

    The exemption which was put in place for six months after cyclone Gita in February will end on 30 August 2018.

    The Ministry’s Acting CEO Kelemete Vahe has also reminded that tax and duty free on building materials will continue until February 2020.

    Hundreds of containers filled with donated goods had been sent to the kingdom from New Zealand since March while the Auckland community just keeps on giving.

    Most of these containers were provided free by some container suppliers in Auckland for families, relatives and friends who wanted to send goods to Tonga.

    Gita was labelled the worst storm to hit Tonga in 60 years, with houses levelled, trees knocked over and thousands of residents left without power.

    The government has set aside TP$107.32 million in its 2018/19 budget to help the country recover fully from the effects of Cyclone Gita.

    The money will be spent over the next three years.

    The government will spend TP$59.56 million in the 2018 – 19 fiscal year; TP$33.88 million between 2019-20 and TP$13.88 million in 2020-21.

    As Kaniva News reported in February, Tonga was facing a “major food crisis” after cyclone Gita.

    In May Red Cross Secretary General Sione Taumoefolau reportedly said the recovery of food and crops did not seem to be too much of an issue on the main island of Tongatapu.

    He said up to 400 houses were destroyed and deemed uninhabitable after the storm and many people were still living in makeshift shelters.

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