EACTC members discuss regional challenges

Members of the East African Community’s Technical Committee are in a three-day meeting in the country to discuss the challenges and solutions to the problems faced by the regional bloc.
Ambassador Juma Mwapachu, Secretary General EAC.
Ambassador Juma Mwapachu, Secretary General EAC.

Members of the East African Community’s Technical Committee are in a three-day meeting in the country to discuss the challenges and solutions to the problems faced by the regional bloc.

“As technicians, we look at the problems faced by the region and hold such meetings to find solutions,” Charles Rwanga, the Director of research and planning in Rwanda Revenue Authority said.

The three-day meeting was officially opened yesterday at Foyer de la Charite building in Kicukiro District, Kigali city and is attended by Technical members from Revenue Authorities of each member state.

Yusuf Saloum, the outgoing Chairman of the EACTC and representative of the Tanzanian delegation told The New Times that the issues to be discussed include; the implementation process of one border post and eradicating smuggling and corruption in order to curb tax evasion in the region.

On the implementation process of the border post, Yusuf said that the system will boost trade as importation and transportation of goods through the region will be made easier and time saving.

“The implementation of the one border post will come as a solution to the usual delays of goods that come and go throughout our region,” he said.

Rwanga said the Burundi-Rwanda border has been completed with only the official launch remaining.

“Feasibility studies have already been done on all the other borders. As soon as the policy is approved, then we will implement the one border system,” Rwanga said.

According to Rwanga, tax bodies in the EAC do not only consider how best they can collect taxes but also meet in order to find ways through which tax clearance can be made easier for the payers.

With a one-border system, taxpayers will be able to declare their goods before they actually reach their destination countries.

This makes trade easier as there will be no more tax clearance delays since people will be receiving their goods the moment they enter the country.

He was also very optimistic that the meeting would come down with the best ways through which all the EAC countries can work together to improve the taxation system in the bloc.

“Taxes are for purposes of each country’s development. We therefore need to know the best capacity building skills that we should offer our staff such that government revenue is attained.” Rwanga emphasised.

This is the 44th of the EACTC meetings that are held four times annually, while that of East African Community Commissioner Generals takes place twice a year.

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