Rwanda needs to broaden tax base - PM

The Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi, yesterday called for broadening of tax revenue base as well as more transparency in public finance management so as to spur national development.
Murekezi (L) congratulates Bank of Kigali chief executive officer James Gatera, upon the bank’s being named taxpayer of the year. (Courtesy)
Murekezi (L) congratulates Bank of Kigali chief executive officer James Gatera, upon the bank’s being named taxpayer of the year. (Courtesy)

The Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi, yesterday called for broadening of tax revenue base as well as more transparency in public finance management so as to spur national development.

Murekezi said this during the National Taxpayers Day held in Kayonza District, yesterday. He asked Rwandans to fulfill their tax obligations willfully, as one of the ways through which to contribute the development of the country.

“We need to expand developmental activities using resources derived from taxation, because [taxes are] for the central pillar of the country’s economy. Adequate payment of taxes is important because tax revenue provides a financial benefit to all Rwandans. We can all jointly strive to get rid of the culture of depending on foreign aid if we pay tax,” he said.

The Premier urged businesses embrace the use of Electronic Billing Machines, to increase efficiency in tax payment. Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) is rolling out electronic machines to improve tax administration.

Murekezi said Rwandans were duty bound to develop their country through responsible tax payment. He reminded that Rwanda was pushing hard to realize full self sustainable economy.
He however, said that all the efforts of sustainability in development should be matched with proper payment of taxes, zero corruption.

“We cannot afford a situation where we depend on other people’s taxes. RRA’s program to increase number of tax payers is worth support just like facilitating local and international investors is”.

About 52% of this year’s budget was funded by locally generated revenue and the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has raised the target collection by 16% compared to the last year.

During the celebrations, exemplary taxpayers were awarded with certificates of merit and medals. Bank of Kigali emerged the overall winner.

RRA Commissioner General, Richard Tusabe, said that taxi collection has been increasing over the past years due increased use of technology to strengthen tax administration and enforcement.

In 2012-2013, RRA collected Rwf663.7 billion in revenue. The figure rose to Rwf 771.8 billion in the 2013-2914 financial year. “The trend has been steadily going up for the last six years. We aim at reaching Rwf906.8 billion in the near future,” Tusabe said.

 

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