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Tidhar Excavation and Earth Moving Ltd, an Israeli construction company, is plunged in cash crisis after the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) suspended the company’s reversible tax for months.
The company that is engaged on road construction projects in Addis Ababa is also constructing part of the new road that go hand in hand with the Addis Ababa Light Railway Transport (LRT) project, which stretches from Western to Eastern part of the city, in collaboration with the Chinese contractor, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).
ERCA has suspended the reversible tax Tidhar should have been refunded as the company is under investigation by the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC) in an alleged tax evasion.
According to a source, the company is currently tied with serious cash shortage. Sources said that even though the company does not have adequate cash in its hand, projects that are run by the company are going according to schedule.
Fekadu Haile (Eng.), Director General of Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA), confirmed to Capital that the company’s projects are going on schedule on all assignments although it is short of cash. He said that progress of the main project that the company is working on besides the LRT project depends on how fast the railway work near Megenagna junction is moving. Tidhar has demonstrated good performance in this particular project.
The company officials have also admitted the financial problem they faced up but they asserted, “We are undertaking all our projects properly.”
Tidhar and CRBC are constructing the 8.6km road which is divided into five lots.
The five lots are Ministry of Mines-Megenagna Interchange-Lem Hotel lot, the Lem Hotel-Hayahulet Interchange-Ministry of Water and Energy lot (Tidhar is in charge of this section) – and the Ministry of Water and Energy-Urael Interchange-Meskel Square lot, the Meskel Square-La Gare-Mexico Interchange-Phillips Building lot, and the Phillips Building-Lideta Interchange-Coca Cola Junction lots are controlled by CREC.
Tidhar has almost completed the 4.2 km road from Sidist Kilo to Gurara. It had also constructed the avenues that run from Asko to Wingate, and Wingate to Pastor. Few months ago, FEACC commenced an investigation into a 52 million birr tax evasion case. Police has also arrested some ERCA staffs who were presumably involved in the illegal activity.
Birhanu Assefa, Education and Public Relations Director of FEACC declined to comment on the issue. He said that FEACC has not finalized the investigation and the commission could not say anything at this time.
Tidhar officials have also declined to give their view about the investigation. “We hope that the investigation will be completed in the coming three weeks, and we will disclose the information afterwards,” Tidhar executives had said.