Syria has a poor record in collecting taxes, but a sales tax is a lot easier to manage. So VAT (Value Added Tax) was supposed to be launched next year. The price of all goods and services would rise by 10%.
In other countries with VAT, some products (like food) are exempt.
But with oil and food prices rising earlier this year, and the global financial crisis starting to hit, the Finance Ministry seems to think it would be inappropriate to do it now.