XIV. REVENUE AND BUDGETARY
MEASURES FOR 2004.
Mr. Speaker Sir,
191. I now come to the portion of my Budget
Speech that, I am sure, has been eagerly awaited by you and the Members
of this august Assembly. Perhaps, you may be a little disappointed in
that there are no startling or controversial proposals, but sensible
and practical measures that would focus essentially on an outcome of
better revenue enforcement. Let me say at the outset that the Government
is not contemplating an adjustment of tax rates, be they direct or indirect,
but rather, on an improved enforcement of our existing taxes, to ensure
equity among taxpayers and to ensure that all monies due to government
are fully and quickly brought to account. The Government has also tried
to ensure a reasonable adjustment of user fees and charges, long overdue,
so that the benefits of the services provided by the Government are
borne directly by the user.
- Fees and Charges
a. Raise the charges on domestic and foreign postal transactions
by an average of 30 percent.
b. Increase firearms and game licenses, driving licenses and ordinary
number plates, and general dealers' licenses to more realistic levels.
c. An upward adjustment in the license fees and the road tax on commercial
passenger and goods vehicles.
d. An adjustment in the land rent and survey fees of different categories
of property, depending on whether they are for commercial/industrial,
or tourism development (residential or hotels) purposes.
e. The adjustment of registration fees and charges for foreign and
local fishing vessels depending on their category.
f. An upward adjustment in the processing fees and charges on customs
documents by 0.5 percentage points.
A Gazette Notification will be issued in the course of next week detailing
the fees and charges in respect of specific categories.
- Petroleum Products
Government has decided to adjustment of the pump price of PMS by D
3.00. Despite the increased cost of petroleum products, and mindful
of the impact on the trade, transport and household sectors, the price
of kerosene and diesel fuel will remain unchanged for the moment
- Arrears and Enforcement
Considerable effort will be devoted to collecting arrears due to
the Customs and Excise Departments, particularly in respect of direct
deliveries and under declarations.
The creation of a Revenue Authority in 2004 will usher in a new business
culture. This, together with more rational performance incentives,
is expected to improve enforcement and revenue collections over the
- Land Sales
The government has identified for sale, land at the Coastal Layout
and Bijjilo Annex. The properties identified will be sold at competitive
- Non-Tax Revenue
The Department of State for Finance and Economic Affairs intends
discussing with the Asset Management and Recovery Corporation, and
the Central Bank of the Gambia to make contributions to the Treasury
from their profits for the year.
Mr. Speaker Sir,
The National Assembly Members would be pleased to be informed, that,
the Government has decided, effective January 1, 2004, to abolish
the excise duty on domestically produced bottled water and soft drinks.
This measure would enhance the competitiveness of local products,
and provide manufacturers with a much-needed respite from the recent
escalation in costs.
- Wage, Salary and Pension Adjustment
Mr. Speaker Sir,