Guest Contributor | Jul 25, 2017 | 0
Revenue Agency Bill operational 2017
Minister of Finance Hon. Calle Schlettwein is hopeful that a new Revenue Agency Bill is expected to be finalised in 2017 as his ministry moves to set up a revenue agency, emulating examples in South Africa and Botswana. Schlettwein recently made the commitment when he addressed his staff members late last week.
Schlettwein said, “as you may be aware, the Ministry is pre-occupied with the transitional modalities for the establishment of a Semi-Autonomous Revenue Agency. As a first step, the Policy Framework that informs the process for the establishment of the Agency has been finalized and approved by Cabinet last year. In the meantime, the Draft Bill is also finalized and due for consideration by Cabinet.
According to Schlettwein, his ministry will also in the meantime develop a communications strategy. “It is envisaged that this Bill will be operational by 2017. The transitional arrangements will make provision on how the staff members under Inland Revenue Department and Customs and Excise will be deployed to the Revenue Agency or elsewhere. A Communications Strategy in this regard is being developed and it will be shared with all officials from the Department Inland Revenue and Directorate of Customs and Excise in due course.
Reiterated Schlettwien, “as the Government takes measures to control expenditure, it is expected that the revenue collection efforts are scaled-up, both at policy and administrative levels. Indeed, we must not lose sight that a number of important initiatives have been introduced in the Ministry that would lead to the increase of revenue collection. We therefore, need to accelerate the implementation of initiatives to optimise revenue collection.”
The beginnings of the Revenue Agency started taking shape in February 2014 when then Minister of Finance, Hon. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila a nine member task team to steer the creation of the agency. A draft bill was completed in March 2015.