The local market in Houthi-controlled areas is between the hammer of taxes and the anvil of crisesEnglish - Monday 11 September 2023 الساعة 06:13 pm
The justifications of the Houthi group, Iran's arm in Yemen, for imposing levies on citizens, merchants and shopkeepers in the areas under its control, are almost endless, until they come back with new names to accumulate money, put pressure on people and multiply the suffering of Yemenis with more illegal royalties.
At a time when the Houthi militia seeks to build its own economic empire and flood the market with requirements and taxes to restrict merchants, it has recently, in a vulgar manner, imposed more fees on shops, going so far as to demand that the group ask shop owners to pay fees under the pretext of cleanliness.
The Houthi militia created more than 17 sectarian events to devote its dynastic project, funding its activities by imposing taxes and royalties that violate the law, while observers believe that the group seeks to seize the largest amount of money at the expense of citizens, while deliberately restricting merchants, enabling it to replace them with loyalists. .
A suffocated market
In the framework of what the local market is facing in areas under the control of Iran’s arm, in terms of stagnation that has affected the buying and selling process, the Houthi movement continues to pretexts to impose fees and flood the market with causes of collapse, at a time when the population is living in difficult living conditions that have affected their purchasing power.
In this context, one of the shop owners in Sanaa - who preferred to remain anonymous - pointed out that "the market is in a constant state of collapse, and periodically we find ourselves facing new taxes imposed on us by the Houthi group."
The source said, in the context of his talk to “NewsYemen”: “Throughout the year, our stores move between what the Houthis describe as the war effort, to taxes, and the matter does not stop there. Rather, there are fees imposed on us under claims of financing sectarian events that the group invented, such as the Day of Ghadir.” And the Guardianship Day, the Prophet’s birthday, and other Houthi occasions.”
He added, "The Houthi group was not satisfied with the fees it imposes on all shops, and we are forced to pay them against our will and forcibly, recently demanding that we pay additional fees for cleaning in front of the shops, and demanding that we pay without any legal justification, and no one can object."
He pointed out, "Although everyone cleans in front of their shops on a regular basis, the group is asking us to pay the fees, and refuses to consider the unprecedented collapse of the market. Rather, it continues to blackmail us and continues to impose levies forcibly."
He pointed out that "over the past years, the market has witnessed a significant decline in the buying and selling process, especially with the increasing severity of the living crisis that affected the purchasing power of citizens."
He said, "The continuous decline has turned into a state of general stagnation, while the group is practicing various forms of harassment against us. In addition to the illegal fees being imposed on us, there are huge taxes and customs fees that have led to an increase in the prices of commodities for citizens."
And he continued: "The current situation that the market has reached, we have been forced to reduce prices significantly, in the hope of restoring commercial movement in the markets, although the price reduction negatively affects our stores, which constantly withdraw money for taxes, huge customs fees, and Houthi events that almost never end." .
He concluded by saying: "The problem is no longer with prices alone, but rather with the narrowing and decline in their purchasing power and the accumulation of living crises. Nevertheless, we find ourselves and our shops vulnerable to various forms of extortion practiced against us by the Houthi group non-stop."
Since its rebellion against the government and its control over state institutions, the Houthi militia has relied on markets, merchants, and the money of citizens of all categories to fuel its war and enrich dynastic leaders, while it has sought to seize control of the market, blackmail private companies, and fabricate malicious charges against them, justifying its closure or seizure.
Iran's arm is adopting a systematic policy of creating living crises and keeping society in a constant state of exhaustion, while seeking to swallow up the public resources of the usurped state. Since the beginning of the war, it has refused to pay the salaries of employees in various sectors, and teachers in particular.
In this context, journalist Muhammad al-Mayas believes that the Houthi group is investing its influence to blackmail commercial companies, businessmen and small shops and force them to pay illegal taxes in favor of its dynastic project.
Al-Mayass believes, in his interview with "Newsyemen", that the group fabricates sectarian events and forces the Yemenis to finance them by force, without caring about the bad situation in the local market, which has become a real threat to shops and small projects that are periodically forced to pay royalties to the Houthis. As he put it.
He added: "The militia implicated the country in a bloody war that ate people's money and threatened their future, and put citizens in front of the worst living crises in the world, which led to a decrease in the purchasing power of society, and this was reflected in the market and merchants who found themselves facing multifaceted crises, and a repressive authority seeking to bankrupt them." In all ways"
He continued: "In the whole world, during wars and crises, countries seek to provide facilities to merchants, to ensure that the market is maintained vibrantly, and to reduce the possibility of their societies being exposed to livelihood crises. However, on the contrary, the Houthi militia took advantage of the war to blackmail merchants and burden them with taxes, which caused the closure of many stores." Small private companies and projects.
Al-Mayas concluded by saying: “The Houthi practices have become exposed, but they will not stop. However, the Yemenis today are well aware of the causes of their suffering, and who is behind all these crises that have placed Yemen in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, which may soon turn into one of the most important factors for the group’s demise.” "The Houthis are witnessing a popular uprising that does not seem far away."