Progress on establishment of Revenue agency
“The Revenue Agency, which we have been calling and waiting for, is coming,” were the words of Finance minister, Hon. Calle Schlettwein late last week when he addressed stakeholders at the National Art Gallery in the capital.
The idea behind the establishment of the Revenue Agency was first mooted in September 2013 following a decision taken by cabinet.
Speaking on the matter, Schlettwein said, “The Ministry, with the assistance of the Task Team completed the Policy Framework which underpins and defines the institutional and governance structure of the agency, including transitional provisions.” Added Schlettwein, “The provisions of the Policy Framework formed the foundation for drafting the Establishing Act of the envisaged RA. In addition, the framework provides measures on strengthening the Tax Policy Unit which will remain at the Ministry of Finance. According to him, the Policy Framework was approved by Cabinet in 2015 already. Mapping the way forward, he said, “The Ministry also completed the Draft Layman’s Bill for the Namibian Revenue Agency, which was approved by Cabinet in March 2016 and cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Legislation on the 4th of August 2016. The Bill will be submitted for legal scrutiny and clearance and for tabling in Parliament during the September/October 2016 session of Parliament. The Task Team is continuing with activities in Transitional Plan in order to ensure seamless transition, once the Act has been approved.”
“To date, we have received three technical missions; one from the Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI) and two from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through AFRITAC-South in Mauritius. These missions worked with the Task Team in conducting interviews with key stakeholders on the operational readiness of the Revenue Agency and provide guidance on the next steps.
The Ministry of Finance intends to tap on further assistance from other stakeholders and donor community to accelerate the transitional work (this shall include consultation with the National Treasury of South Africa and the South African Revenue Service (SARS),”Schlettwein Concluded.