The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr. Amadou Sanneh, yesterday responded to the questions raised by the country's Lawmakers, at the Legislative House in Banjul.
The National Assembly Member for Wuli East Hon. Suwaibou Touray, asked the Minister whether his Ministry would be willing to investigate and find out if Gambia Ports Authority Staff are involved in clearing and forwarding in order to stop the practice and avert abuse. Hon. Touray cited that this is the work of registered importers.
Mr. Sanneh in his response stated that he would bring the matter to the management of the Gambia ports Authority (GPA), to be able to address the situation. He however said that if the members have material information that will help draw the attention of the Ports Authorities, noting that they will serve as tangible evidences.
Nominated member Ndey Yassin Secka asked what mechanisms Government has employed to control the issue of exorbitant rent fees, which she disclosed should be looked into, coupled with the payment of the house owner's agents. Mr. Sanneh responded that rent is under the purview of the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government and therefore advised that the question be directed to the said Ministry as they are in charge of regulating rent matters.
The Member for Illiasa Dembo KM Camara, asked the Minister to disclose Government's plans to bail out the country from being a tax based Economy. Mr. Sanneh said his Ministry in collaboration with the GRA, are currently working on a tax rationalization plan that will seek to reduce the multiplicity of taxes, and further reduce tax rates for certain goods and products in order to spur investment and growth.
"On transforming the Gambia from a tax based economy from January 2017, the current Government has made efforts to redirect resources that were previously siphoned by the former president. Efforts at diversifying the domestic resource base, will continue in the coming fiscal years", the Minister said.