By Isatou Jallow
Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) Yankuba Darboe disclosed that despite the numerous challenges of the global pandemic, and the six months long of the Russia-Ukraine war that have a negative impact leading to a high increase in fuel prices, GRA had collected D7.4 billion in revenue within seven months from January to date.
He made this disclosure in an interview with Peter Gomez on Friday 19th August 2022.
Mr. Darboe revealed that GRA is tasked to collect (D13.5Billion) annual revenue target for 2022 and the Authority is struggling very hard to ensure that it achieves the set revenue target by the end of December 2022.
In his words, he said, “as we speak GRA has collected (D7.4 billion) and we are left with (D6.07Billion) to end December 2022.”
Mr. Darboe stated that the recent Russia -Ukraine war had caused the world market fuel prices to rise and had prompted the government of The Gambia to spend a lot in terms of subsidizing the fuel prices from January to date.
He said that both gasoil and petrol should have gone above a hundred dalasi per liter, but because the government is concerned in this area, the government spends concerned in this area, which led the government to spend a lot of subsidies month–month-out on behalf of the ordinary citizenry on fuels prices.
According to him, in May, closer to (D291 million) was what the government paid on behalf of the ordinary citizens on fuel prices as subsidy, while in June the government came up with over (D304 million) in subsidy toward the fuel prices.
So, “If you look at it collectively from January to the end of June, Government subsidies had gone up to (D1.3 billion) and this is ordinarily the revenue that GRA could have collected, ” Mr. Darboe explained.
He said the D7.4 Billion that GRA had collected and added to the government subsidy of (D1.3 Billion), “it would have given almost over (8) Billion” then we would have left with a minimal gap of (D4 to 5 billion) toward meeting our target.”
But because of the current circumstances that we find ourselves in, the government has to do this and forgo that amount and make it a subsidy, he added and went on that despite all those challenges, GRA is still optimistic about achieving the set target, come end December 2022.
GRA boss commended his staff and management for the high sense of commitment and dedication toward attaining GRA’s annual revenue target over the years.
He praised his institution for its excellent revenue performance over the years while attributing those successes as due to the latest innovations, digitalization system, and strong human resources based at GRA.
He also spoke at length on the three million dalasi that the Government is losing on monthly bases due to paying subsidies for the ordinary citizenry on fuel and prayed that by the way, circumstances change at the level of the world market fuel prices, then that three-million-dalasi subsidy can come back to us as revenue, otherwise “if the government continue providing that amount of subsidy, then “it will not be possible for us to meet our target,” CG Darboe declared.
In reacting to the allegation on the side of the tax liabilities against Hadim Gai, a business contractor on the Banjul Project, he said as far as GRA is concerned concerning the D114 Million figure quoted by the media as tax liabilities for Hadim Gai, he said it is not coming from GRA.
Mr. Yankuba Darboe Debunk the alleged “saying that maybe the media lifted that alleged figure from the Audit report but not GRA at all, he clarified.
Mr. Gai had been reportedly alleged to lack transparency of the contract in the Banjul project and tax liabilities.