Jan 11, 2021, 10:55 AM
The United Democratic Party, (UDP), on Saturday Described as ‘shock and alarm’ after receiving the news of the seizure of nearly three tonnes of cocaine worth US$88 million.
Yankuba Darboe made this disclosure in an exclusive interview with Peter Gomez, on the West Coast Radio in a popular programme dubbed: ‘Coffee Time With Peter Gomez.’
The GRA boss described the covid-19 pandemic as one of the most destructive health emergencies that hit the region and its negative impact is beyond health as it touches all sectors of development.
According to Mr. Darboe, GRA is tasked by the government to target a staggering D12.5 billion for the year 2020. However, the target has been revised due to covid-19 pandemic. He said the target now stands at D10.1 billion for the year 2020.
“The target is anticipated at 13% or D1.4 billion nominal growth over the 2019 annual revenue collection of D9.1 billion revenue growth,” he stated.
According to C-G Darboe, the GRA with its tax system will meet the target before the end of 2020.
Mr. Darboe, who spoke extensively about the negative impact of the covid-19 on revenue collection, said when the covid-19 was declared by the WHO as a global pandemic, GRA in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs assessed the impact of covid-19 on businesses. Subsequently, he added, they reviewed the said revenue target and decided to reduce it to D10.1 billion. “This means that The Gambia will lose over D2 billion.”
He noted that the covid-19 pandemic has a very serious negative impact on revenue collection in the sense that so many businesses, ranging from restaurants, hotels, borders and airports among others are locked down.
Regarding the GSM telecom, he said there has been significant improvement of about 10%, adding this is because covid-19 has made people stay at home constantly using mobiles and other utilities.
C.G Darboe was quick to confirm that VAT would bounce back immediately after the normal reopening of businesses. He also added that the sea port is also encouraging in terms of revenue collection.
He reiterated that covid-19 pandemic has affected revenue collection in the area of hotels, export trade, downsize of staff, income tax, capital gain, airport and borders among others key sectors.
The chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Emmanuel Daniel Joof, has said that they don’t invent rights, rather they uphold rights that are in the constitution, treaties and conventions that The Gambia ratified and is a party to.
The minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare, Fatou Kinteh has underscored the role and contribution of women in national development, stating that the country cannot develop without empowering the women.
Dr. Alieu Gibba, a senior lecturer and president of the University of The Gambia’s Faculty and Staff Association (UTGFSA) has debunked claims advanced by the university, describing it as lack of integrity and merit.