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PM Ngirente urges business community to sustain fight against Covid-19 and its effects

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente delivers remarks during Taxpayers Appreciation Day event in Kigali on 20 November 2020 .Sam Ngendahimana

Best taxpayers were on Friday, November 20, 2020, recognised for their resolute efforts to pay taxes to sustain the government's development agenda in the financial year 2019/2020.

They were honoured during the 18th Edition of the Taxpayers Appreciation Day celebrated at the Kigali Convention Centre, an event that was officiated by Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente.

 

Overall, 34 best taxpayers were appreciated in different categories including, small taxpayers, medium taxpayers, large taxpayers, and special categories including Electronic Billing Machine (EBM) compliance, best consumers, Made in Rwanda, as well as prompt response to Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) Initiatives.

 

Speaking to The New Times, some of them said that the taxes they pay is in line with their responsibility to support the development of their country, and what matters is the life improvement of its people.

 

“We have been part of theCovid-19 -ment agenda of this country. And, it feels good that we are still  contributing to the economy of this country,” said Merid Demissie, Managing Director of BRALIRWA Plc, which emerged the best in the large taxpayer category.

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente in a group photo with best Taxpayers of the year 2019-2020

The beverages manufacturing company paid over Rwf30.7 billion in tax to the national treasury in 2019/2020.

Others recognised in this category include MTN Rwanda which paid taxes worth over Rwf27.8 billion, Ericsson Rwanda – a subsidiary of a Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company –, which paid over Rwf8.2 billion in tax, Equity Bank with over Rwf4.2 billion and Rwanda Mountain Tea which paid over Rwf3.4 billion.

MTN Rwanda Chief Executive Officer,  Mitwa Kaemba Ng’ambi said that it is an honour to be recognised for the contribution to the country’s progress through tax compliance.

“I think the question is why do you not comply, especially that you understand as a partner to development that your contribution makes a great deal to assist the country as well to ensure that the general public is safe, they are healthy. So we are happy that we got to play our part,” she said.

“So, we saw the need for us to comply, not as an obligation,” she said commenting on the question about how the company managed to pay tax even during the Covid-19 pandemic that shook the economy.

Ericsson Country Manager, Jacques Kabandana said that paying taxes dully was a sign of commitment to building the country, even in the pandemic.

Taxpayers Appreciation Day's event takes place on Friday 20 November 2020

“In such tough times, we need to show exactly what partnership means. And this is how we pull our sleeves and say “we are going to go through this together despite the challenges, and that’s how we found in ourselves that resilience to go ahead and continue being a good taxpayer,” he said thanking the Government of Rwanda for giving them an opportunity to establish in the country.

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente thanked the best taxpayers, and promised them Government support so that they deal with the negative economic effects caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We request you to continue collaborating with the Government of Rwanda in reinforcing the measures intended to recover the economy and tackle the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said thanking members of the private sector for not wavering to make investments even during the pandemic.

The Premier said that Rwf12 billion was reimbursed to taxpayers through VAT refund so that their activities are not disrupted during the Covid-19 period.

Meanwhile, Bank of Kigali, and Jacques Rusirare, the owner of Ameki Color Ltd that deals in paints, were recognised as all-time outstanding taxpayers for their best performance in paying tax on time.

Rwanda Revenue Authority Commissioner General Pascal  Ruganintwali addresses the 18th edition of the Taxpayers Appreciation Day event

RRA Commissioner General, Pascal Bizimana Ruganintwali commended the taxpayers’ resilience and commitment amidst Covid-19 challenges, hence helping the Authority to exceed its target for the first quarter of the 2020/2021 fiscal year.

He said that RRA collected Rwf1,516.3 billion in revenues, against the 1,589 billion, meaning that the target was achieved at 95.4 percent.

“The Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the economy, which adversely affected the achievement of the tax collection target,” he said.

In 2020/2021, RRA expects to generate over Rwf1,564.4 billion in revenu

entirenganya@newtimesrwanda.com

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