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General News of Thursday, 23 January 2014

Source: Cameroon Tribune

Optimise Revenue Collection!

Mobilising the FCFA 3,312 billion State budget needed to ensure an effective functioning of government's machinery in 2014 as well as to carryout projects that will lift the population

from under development rests on the shoulders of the Ministry of Finance. The task by every means is daunting and certainly needs teamwork to stand the test of time.

The ongoing annual conference of senior officials of central and external services of the Ministry of Finance in Yaounde is serving as an opportunity for Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey to galvanise his troops towards efficiency and much more to jointly devise innovative strategies to optimise revenue collection so as to keep the economy buoyant.

It is no news that a budget, like what the State has at hand, is simply a projected income and expenditure. Failure to raise the required amount is synonymous with crippling all development dreams in the drive towards becoming a middle-income economy by 2035.

Going by the Finance Law adopted by parliament and promulgated by the Head of State on December 17, 2013, the State income will come from taxes (FCFA 1,878,030,000) other revenue (FCFA 824,970,000) as well as from loans and grants (FCFA 609,000,000). More significant about this year's income is the issuance of treasury bonds which stand at FCFA 280 billion up from FCFA 250 billion in 2013. Harvesting FCFA 1,240 from taxation, FCFA 638 billion from customs duties and FCFA 280 billion from the capital market necessitates renewed efforts and obviously modern strategies by stakeholders.

As such, specialised services of the Ministry of Finance, notably the Customs, Taxation and Treasury Departments must devise revenue collection-friendly mechanisms to live up to the billing. Shunning egocentric tendencies embedded in malpractices that prosper revenue collectors at the detriment of the State and adopting strategies that would not also scare contributors out of business are more than ever welcome. The theme of the ongoing conference, "Performance and budgetary discipline at the service of emergence: Everyone's concern," is inclusive and therefore calls for efficiency by all.