By: Kebba AF Touray
The Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority Yankuba Darboe, has informed the legislature that the Custom Excise Department dubbed (CED), has represented a nominal growth of five hundred and seventy million, nine hundred and fifty eight thousand, four hundred and ninety six dalasi (D570,958,496.00), in 2020.
CG Darboe made this disclosure during the presentation of the activity report of the revenue authorit before members of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly.
The revenue authority’s report will be reviewed, scrutinized and recommended as per the performance of the authority during the period under review.
“In terms of revenue performance by operational departments, the CED department’s total revenue collection of the year 2020, totaled GMD6, 746,123,516.00. This total collection for CED represented a surplus of GMD721,475,628.00 or 12 percent against the annual target of GMD6,024,647,887.00,”, CG Darboe explained.
Similarly, he said the Domestic Taxes Department (DTD) collected GMD5, 061,801,544.00 in 2020, which represented a surplus of GMD997, 671,588.00 or 25 percent above revenue target. This as explained by Darboe, is in comparison with the 2019 total revenue of GMD4, 829,336,021.00.
Revenue as stated by CG Darboe, started to decline when emergency regulations were being implemented as a result of the Covid-19 impact on the operation of businesses, Government, and the public and private sectors, stifling demand for goods and services.
“The situation further worsened by the closure of the country’s land borders and airspace, downsizing of Government activities and operations, abrupt closure of the hotels and the hospitality industry, ban in the re-export trade and a general drop in demand for goods and services”, CG Darboe said; that at the level of the GRA, staffing levels were reduced and field exercises in terms of tax and enforcement suspended, as part of measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on staff; that the performance of the authority during the year amidst the challenges of Covid-19, was boosted by the revision of customs’ indicative values and strong performance of oil receipts; that the boost in performance was attributed to the intervention of Government, NGOs, philanthropists and private individuals, to assist the population with basic food items, which helped maintain good import volumes.
“In terms of domestic revenues, the main contributor has been Domestic VAT and Excise on telecoms service receipts. The strong revenue performance of these two domestic revenue heads in particular, is attributed to the use of internet data and telecom services to communicate, increased significantly resulting to higher VAT receipts”, Commissioner General Darboe asserted.