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GRA registers continuous revenue growth, says CG Darboe

Jun 15, 2015, 9:29 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

Gambia Revenue Authority Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe has told the joint session of the Public Accounts Committee and Public Enterprises Committee (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly that GRA had registered continuous revenue growth year-on-year, since the commencement of its operation as a unified body in 2007.

However, there remain some challenges that affect the revenue mobilization efforts of the authority, he said.

The GRA Commissioner General was speaking on Thursday during a debate on the GRA annual activity report for 2013 by deputies.

The most significant challenges faced by the authority over the years, have to do with the fact that the revenue targets only mirror the size of demand for financial resources to finance developmental aspirations, rather than their alignment to more realistic levels of domestic taxable activities and the volume and mix of international trade activities, he said.

Hence, for the revenues to catch up with the planned level of aggregate domestic spending, it would require a massive expansion of the domestic tax base, increased efficiency in collecting taxes, increased imports and tightening the control on the huge tax expenditures.

The revenue contribution ratios for DTD and CED for 2013 were 48 per cent and 52 per cent respectively, he said.

According to Mr Darboe, the ratio suggested that any planned expansion in domestic revenues in the short-term would depend on the buoyancy of the country’s imports.

“Looking forward, we expect government to control tax expenditures, and at the same time help further diversify the economy through the encouragement of more value addition to agricultural production, as well as attracting more foreign direct investments into the country,” he said.

On the part of the authority, Commissioner Darboe added that they would be working towards improving compliance levels, and further expanding the tax base through innovative methods of bringing more of the informal sector into the tax net.

The informal sector businesses, despite their significant presence in the local economy and contributing to domestic economic output, pose a serious compliance challenge, he stated.

“Many of them do not want to graduate from the informal sector, have a poor record keeping culture and hardly file returns to give an assessment of their taxes,” he added.