Jun 1, 2020, 11:23 AM
In anticipation of the rainy season, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has forecast the 2020 seasonal rainfall in most parts of the country to be “above normal rainy season”.
This was revealed by the GRA’s deputy commissioner general and head of Domestic Tax in an exclusive interview with The Point at his office last Friday in Banjul.
According to Essa Jallow, GRA was tasked to collect D10,088,777,844 billion for government in 2020 but it eventually collected D11, 807,925,060.95, meaning GRA collected an excess of D1,219,147,216.82, representing 17% above the target .
Mr. Jallow described this move as a major achievement not only for the GRA but for the country as a whole. He said collecting this huge amount for government was not a child’s play, considering the impact of coronavirus last year 2020 on the economy.
According to Jallow, this development was due to the commitment and dedication from both the GRA staff and the management.
Mr. Jallow argued that 2020 was not normal, pointing out that: “We had to grapple with the covid-19, but despite all that, GRA is able to meet the expectation of government in terms of revenue collection; not limiting the target but also putting an excess collection of D1.7 billion. That is going to facilitate a lot of things in terms of projects and programmes for government.”
“This is the kind of spirit we have at GRA,” he reiterated. “Our target is always to maximise our collection regardless of what the target is so that we can give more fiscal space for government to address more and more problems for Gambian people.”
“We have to commend our staff for the hard work; as you know collection of revenue is not an easy task. But they have always been there to ensure things happen in terms of achieving our set target.”
He attributed the feat to teamwork.
“But again, we have to thank our taxpayers and despite our hardworking staff, the revenues are contributed by taxpayers.”
Mr. Jallow thanked the Gambian taxpayers for their compliance and for respecting the Gambia Tax Laws which made it possible in surpassing the set target in 2020.
He said the taxpayers have been voluntarily compliant. “We look forward for the continuation of this high spirit on the side of the taxpayer and GRA so that the set target of D12.8 billion in 2021 can also be met without many difficulties.”
Mr. Jallow lavished praise on the board of GRA, saying they have provided the strategic direction policy which made it easy to achieve all these.
He said that the GRA board and management deserve commendation for providing the rightful policy for the GRA to be able to succeed in its endeavours. “This achievement is a collective effort from every player at GRA, ranging from the cleaners to the Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe in ensuring that the set revenue target for 2020 is being achieved,” Mr. Jallow concluded.