Nov 10, 2014, 11:00 AM
GIEPA Act 2010 and its 2012 regulations were the topics of discussion at a sensitisation forum jointly organised by the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) and The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) on Tuesday at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
Speaking at the ceremony, Fatou Mbenga-Jallow, CEO of GIEPA said: “GIEPA and GRA, as the two leading institutions entrusted with the administration of incentives designed by government in consultation with the private sectors and other partners to promote and support investment and export of local products.”
She added that the forum among a series of objectives aimed at creating more awareness and understanding on the incentives, eligibility criteria, and access procedures.
Madam Mbenga said they would endeavour to clearly explain how the current procedures differ from those applicable for the GIPFZA-issued SIC projects.
She said the duty waiver process for GIPFZA-issued SICs was reengineered at the beginning of this year, adding that this was necessitated by the long application procedures and the resulting backlog.
Mrs Mbenga-Jallow remarked that currently, GIEPA and GRA are committed to processing waiver applications within 72 hours, adding that GIEPA, within 24 hours of the receipt of the completed application package, always writes to GRA to support the application if the items are eligible and copies the President’s Office and the MoFEA.
“Within 48 hours, GRA writes to the applicant to convey approval or otherwise of the application and copies the President’s Office, the MoFEA and GIEPA,” she explained.
The GIEPA boss added that so far results indicate processing time of 3 to 11 days, saying they are optimistic that their target will be met.
She said that based on the current investment code, import sales tax waivers are processed directly at the GRA, and that the import items approved for each project and the items accessed at each point in time are jointly monitored by GIEPA and GRA.
“To successfully and sustainably administer these incentives, the cooperation of all beneficiaries is required,” Mrs Mbenga-Jallow said.
She also stated that all waiver applicants should ensure that the goods being applied for are eligible and that all required documents are attached to the application letter to GIEPA for the GIPFZA-issued SICs and to GRA for the GIEPA-issued SICs.
Madeline Njie, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment, who deputised for her Minister at the ceremony aid, these types of forums are essential in establishing a common understanding of government policies and procedures by stakeholders both in public institutions and the private sector.
She added that it also enhances trust between the private and public sector, which is a necessary ingredient in national development.
“The GIEPA Act 2010 and the GIEPA Regulations 2012 clearly spell out the mandate of GIEPA and the sectors that are deemed key for national development,” he also stated, adding that the types of incentives and support designed to encourage quality and productive investments in the country and the eligibility criteria.
Tamsir Manga, project coordinator of Growth and Competitiveness Project, also spoke at the ceremony.