Lielt Tadesse’s clothes shop relied heavily on supplies from merchants such as Shein, which she received through website-based shipping to DHL pickup sites. She claims that recently introduced laws and taxation procedures have made it incredibly challenging to maintain her firm functioning at a regular and predictable profit.
“I used to look for someone who wanted to send money to their relatives here in Addis from abroad so that they could pay for my online purchases through their credit cards while I gave the equivalent amount in birr to their families,” Lielt said. “That way, I get to buy the products, and they get to send their families money without any trouble.”
People like Lielt have found it difficult to earn a livelihood as a consequence of the new regulations that prohibit luxury products and increase taxes on apparel and other items designated “luxury.”
“I used to pay a lot less in taxes as well, but the new policies have led to a 30 percent increase in tax, which has led to an increase in the price of the goods, which drives away clients and makes the business tougher to operate in,” Lielt continued.
Lielt observes the implementation of several uncertain and ever-changing policies.
Due to the earlier ban, she was unable to acquire any of the artificial jewelry she had originally requested.
When she made her subsequent delivery, she quickly discovered that the items were once again permitted.
Due to the recent and abrupt changes to the regulations and procedures that have been put in place with services in government offices like the customs offices, many people in the business sector are experiencing similar difficulties.
Even though the majority of these regulations and restrictions are brought on by foreign currency shortages and other factors, they have still had a negative impact on the lives of numerous individuals who are struggling to make ends meet.
Samuel Assefa, a young 28-year-old who started his own company by buying land, building homes, and selling them, is similarly dissatisfied with the numerous sudden laws and regulations that have made it extremely challenging for him to succeed in his area of work.
“There is always something new going on. For instance, when cement was banned a while back, it was very difficult for workers like me and even people building their own houses to continue working,” Samuel says.
There are several consequences that these evolving policies are causing, including an increase in illicit activity to fill the void that these regulations create in the community, according to him.
When the cement ban was implemented, for instance, many vendors, cement merchants, and truck drivers raised the price of the cement they had on hand by nearly doubling or more before selling it to individuals who needed cement for the construction they had begun prior to the implementation of this policy.
There are also numerous instances where people store the cement they have already acquired at a lower price and wait for the cement prices to increase as a result of the new policies in order to make a far larger profit than they otherwise would have.
Samuel claims that the recent spike in petrol prices has made it even harder for him to continue working because it is getting more and more expensive to get about town owing to transportation costs.
It is also becoming more common for retailers to boost the price of any material as they see fit by taking advantage of these changes.
Samuel and his colleagues in the construction sector have been affected by multiple instances of previously unheard-of rule revisions to the point where work that should have taken a week or two at most now takes months to complete as a consequence of these restrictions.
According to Samuel, the main challenge with the government implementing new rules and regulations is that they do not consider the long-term repercussions, which have an influence on the companies and wages of many people. He also feels that more should be done to prevent people from exploiting the new restrictions by hoarding.