20 January 2013

Cameroon: Orientations to Optimise Revenue Collection, Management for Programme Budget

MINFI has put in place measures to render more realistic the 2013-2015 programme budget.

Heads of central and decentralised services of the Ministry of Finance (MINFI) are bracing up to implement the resolutions of their just-ended three-day annual conference in Yaounde whose fruits are expected to be visible both in revenue collection (customs duties and taxes) as well as in efficient management (treasury). Mobilising the FCFA 3,236 billion State budget for 2013 and efficiently using it to attain the projected economic growth rate of 6.1 per cent, MINFI boss, Alamine Ousmane Mey said, would require redoubled effort by the departments concerned. Already outlined strategies by heads of the departments as well as Ministerial directives at the end of the Yaounde confab would certainly serve as a guide for efficiency.

Reinforce Customs Recovery Strategies

FCFA 638 billion is expected from customs duties this year. The amount represents an increase of FCFA 18 billion in absolute value and 16 per cent in relative value compared to that of 2012 which was FCFA 550 billion even though the customs department ended up collecting over FCFA 595.7 billion. The Director General of Customs, Minette Libom Li Likeng, said to attain set objectives, they will uphold and reinforce performance-enhancing strategies that have kept them progressing over the years. Records show that customs revenue has witnessed a 114 per cent increase in the last 12 years moving from FCFA 278.9 billion in 2000 to FCFA 595.7 billion in 2012.

Redesign Taxpayers' Registration

The taxation department is projected to pump in FCFA 1,214 billion to the State covers in 2013. To ensure that each taxpayer pays the just right tax, the Taxation department has undertaken from this year to expand the tax base through a biometric refection of taxpayers' data. The mastery of the tax file, they say, would help in improving revenue collection. The single registration number that will be generated by the new system will attach to every taxpayer all its activities. With it, any taxpayer who attempts to relocate its activities from one tax centre to another or that would simulate a bankruptcy to evade payment will be detected.

Rationalise Resource Management

Most often, accusing fingers are pointed at the treasury department for either late or non-payment that delays service delivery or execution of public contracts. Officials say besides raising FCFA 250 billion through the issuance of government securities, all will be done to ensure that the rest of the resources it mobilises are rationally used so as not to cripple any project. What vote holders however need to do is to notify the treasury well ahead of time of their needs so that the funds are assembled in due course. The Minister announced a system of alert for all payments equal or above FCFA 300 million.

Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey said with the measures, government can be able to sustain the monthly salary burden of FCFA 60 billion and forge ahead with socio-economic development necessary to catapult the economy to emergence by 2035.

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