By Binta Jaiteh
Madam Lucy Faye Jagne, board chairperson of Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) has lamented the challenges the institution faced during the COVID -19 pandemic which she said disrupted global supply change and hindered the collection of revenue needed.
She disclosed in her 2020 GRA report presentation to the National Assembly select committee on Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) stating that the implementation of the fourth cooperates strategic plan for 2020 to 2024 registered operation and efficiency through the use of ICT, human capital development, infrastructure development improvement and tackling perennial non -compliance.
“Towards this end, we solicit the full support of the national assembly for increased resource allocation and timely approval of revenue.
Despite our strength in the mobilization of revenues from government operation compliance is persisting despite the continuous effort of government management and also COVID-19 has affected many businesses,” she noted.
She pointed out that the other challenge lies in the taxing of the duty teller economy and creating a conducive work environment for staff.
“We have seen particularly during the pandemic era the sprouting of many online businesses in the Gambia and globally who are generally not registered and have no physical address buying and selling goods online but not under the tax administration.
To address this new phenomenon, there is a need to modernize the revenue laws of capacity and prepare revenue collection systems in this strive therefore the authority will count on the support of the assembly in updating its revenue laws and increasing resource allocation to improve the system and enhance staff competences and good working environment for the staff,” she told the committee.
She added: “I urge everyone to see the payment of taxes as their responsibility through which they are part of fabrics for our country and contributing to our common good, GRA board management, and the board is grateful to the assembly for the support in passing the necessary revenue laws amendments meant to improve effective tax administration.”
Alhagie Saihou Denton, director of finance and accounting GRA also noted that 2021 in terms of requirement, is due but we explained by that time we are on the verge of finishing arranging for an external audit which when it comes to audit that has to come to get the board approval, followed by printing and submission.
“Our external audit is here and they are auditing the accounts in that context. It has to go through the process of audit printing and submission as soon as possible. The presentation will be done in 2021,” he said.
He added: “As you recognize then we are the only one of the three institutions that did 2020 reports on time and we have been striving to get the 2021 reports ready, for 2020 because in the correspondence we knew we had presented but it was not considered however the 2021 reports is still with the auditors and not yet completed.”