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‘GRA remains steadfast in implementing 2015-2019 strategic plan’

Jan 27, 2015, 10:03 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

According to its draft strategic plan 2015-2019, the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) will remain steadfast throughout the course of the implementation of the plan to guard against any potential or actual threats emanating from both the domestic and external environments.

It is also stated in the draft strategic document that the authority’s ability to exploit the opportunities and manage the threats and internal weaknesses, as well as manage the extraneous factors, will depend on the underlying assumptions.

Thus, the economy would grow as projected; there will be continued liberalization of the various sectors of the economy, GRA would adapt to changing technology; consultation with all stakeholders would shape the policies, GRA would keep pace with growths in the global economy and operations will be rationalized.

The draft strategic plan also indicates that the analysis and underlying assumptions presented above offer opportunities for the re-engineering of the Authorities’ business processes for the attainment of an enhanced revenue collection and quality service delivery.

The GRA’s strategic goal is to ensure effective and responsive corporate governance, install effective oversight mechanisms, develop or review TORs for all the existing committees, including the GRA reforms and modernization committee and the board committee, establish an effective framework for ensuring internal/external audit reports are fully implemented.

Among the strategic goals also is to establish an appropriate framework for following up and reporting on implementation of top management decisions, and to implement a governance framework for delivery of the strategic plan with clear TOR.

Taken into consideration are also the WTO agreements that directly impact on GRA operations such as the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Thus on the Economic Partnership Agreements, The Gambia awaits the ECOWAS bloc to sign the EPA with the European Union.

The signing of the EPA will allow goods imported from the EU bloc duty-free access to countries in the ECOWAS bloc.

This development, which will bring attendant benefits to consumers such as increased choices and lower prices due to competition, also project potential negative impacts on international trade revenue, which contributed on average 23 per cent of total GRA collection from 2012 to 2014 and 38 per cent of total CED collection for the same period.

Furthermore, the signing of the EPA has the potential to adversely affect local businesses that are less efficient, as their goods compete with similar goods from the EU countries.

As a strategic objective, an introduction of alternative revenue measures to cushion foreseeable revenue loss will be necessary.

For the Common External Tariffs, CET, The Gambia is set to join the rest of the ECOWAS countries in implementing the CET effective January 2015.

Implementing of the CET is expected to bring along many attendant benefits such as increased market access, investment flow; reduction in production cost; increased economic growth and employment; lower smuggling, reduced political tension across the border; increased trade inflows in the medium to long term, increased efficiency and competitiveness in the industrial sector.

According to the draft strategic document, GRA derives its powers from the GRA Act 2004, which in addition to redefining a new corporate structure for tax administration, harmonizes, strengthens and streamlines the national revenue collection effort under a single corporate entity.