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Keep it up GRA!

Dec 15, 2014, 11:18 AM

The Gambia Revenue Authority has set a Strategic Plan covering the period 2015 - 2019, which is central to achieving various national policy objectives, as well as augment GRA performance in revenue collection.

Over the last three weeks or so, the GRA has embarked on training senior officials and customs officers to enhance their professionalism in discharging their duties for the public good.

The Authority has also joined hands with several financial and public institutions in making collection or payment of taxes and revenue very simple and hassle-free by taking it to the doorsteps of taxpayers across the country.

The Authority is also rolling out a scheme and programme of recognising and applauding those corporate bodies that honour and diligently pay their taxes properly and on time. One such activity is about to be staged this weekend at one of the hotels in Senegambia.

The Authority is taking all these steps and measures to encourage all and sundry, especially corporate bodies, to pay taxes and uphold such a value, as it is for the good of all in the society.

According to the GRA Strategic Plan 2015-2019, the key role GRA will play in achieving the country’s policy objectives include helping the government to meet the bulk of its Recurrent Expenditures.

Indeed, the GRA’s revenue generation capacity is targeted to grow rapidly over the PAGE period by leveraging on the envisaged rapid economic growth, modernizing and simplifying revenue laws, to ensure easy understanding and interpretation of the laws for better compliance management.

It also out to leverage on the country’s ICTinfrastructure to simplify and moderniseour business process andprocedures, promotion of border security, regional integration and trade facilitation through continual engagement of stakeholders locally and regionally, and facilitating improvement in SME taxation.

It is, however, essential to note that the vision, mission and core values of GRA have to be upheld, as the authority has been conducting its affairs and operations over time, especially in recent months.

The GRA should continue to play its role both nationally and in the region, especially on the Common External Tariffs (CET) a training course on which it just wrapped up for 60 customs officers.

The Gambia is set to join the rest of ECOWAS countries in implementing the CET, with effect from January 2015.

The implementation is expected to bring along many benefits, such as increased market access, investment flows, reduction in production costs, increased economic growth and employment, lower smuggling, reduced political tension across the border, increased trade inflows in the medium to long term, and increased efficiency and competiveness in the industrial sector.

CET is also meant to harmonise the heritage of member states within the region to bring about more improvement in the economies of member states to improve the lives of their citizens.

GRA deems it important at this time, before the actual implementation in January 2015, to sensitize both customs officers and the business community on the CET.

This is good, and we encourage the GRA to keep it up.

“I believe in taxation and health care that is outside the usual libertarian mandate, because I don’t want people to have to suffer. It’s as simple as that.”

Neil Peart