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Businesses, doctors obliged by law to accept card payments (Updated)

The cabinet on Wednesday approved a finance ministry decree obliging doctors, lawyers and retail businesses among others to accept plastic money in a bid to fight tax evasion.

It is understood that the decree will be published on Friday.

According to a finance ministry statement, service and retail sector businesses must comply within three months from the day the decree is published.

These include, but are not limited to, law firms, accounting offices, hospitals, dentists, and businesses specialising in general and specialist medical professions, dining, entertainment, and leisure facilities as well as hairdressing salons.

In addition, businesses providing motor vehicle repair services, plumbers and air conditioning installations as well as all retail businesses must comply.

Upon enforcement of the decree, businesses and entities must clearly inform customers that they accept payment by cards.

That does not mean these businesses cannot transact with cash – but that they will be required to also offer the alternative of card payments.

According to the ministry, businesses that open within the last 30 days of the three-month deadline must comply inside four months from publication of the decree.

Those opening after the three-month deadline should comply within one month, the ministry said.

Manufacturing, electricity production, water, transport, publishing, film production, radio, and computer programming businesses are exempted.

The ministry said the measure would help fight tax evasion, boost consumer protection, and help customer service.


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