Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gambia: Rise in levy on GSM companies, fuel, tobacco in 2015

The government said it expects to generate additional revenues estimated at D25 million

The Minister of Finance and Economic Affair, Kebba Touray, has disclosed that government of The Gambia will introduce new revenues measures (levies) in 2015 for GSM companies, on fuel, poultry, premix oil and tobacco.
Touray made this disclosure on December 19, 2014 at the National Assemby in Banjul when he delivered the annual budget speech on Friday.

The budget, which entail the revenues and development expenditure for 2015, estimated at more than D10 billion. 

According to Touray, the government will raise the levy on GSM operators from 1.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent. “This will in turn generate additional revenue estimated at D33 million,” he said.

He also announced there will be a levy on fuel prices by D1 per liter as part of the Road fund which is expected to generate additional revenue estimated at D88 million.

“[The] Government will also introduce 35% levy on imported poultry products and will generate additional revenue estimated at D15 million for the state,” he said.

Touray also disclosed that government will increases import levies on premix oil from D4.76 per liter to D11.42 per liter to generate additional revenues estimated at D60 million.

He further disclosed that government will increase excise tax on cigarettes from D9 per pack to D12 per pack; increase the environment tax on cigarettes from D2 per pack to D2.20 per pack; increase excise tax on other tobacco products from D150 per kilogram to D200 per kilogram; increase environment tax on other tobacco products from D100 per kilogram to D110 per kilogram.

The government said it expects to generate additional revenues estimated at D25 million.

Fiscal Outlook for the year 2015

According to the minister, the total revenue and grants for the fiscal year 2015 is projected at D11.2 billion (29.4% of gross domestic product (GDP), an increase of 31% over 2014. 

He noted: “This increase is principally due to elimination of fuel subsidies; increase in grants, projected increased in efficiency and compliance, and to a lesser extent, the effect of new measures.” 

“Total expenditure and net lending for the fiscal year 2015 is projected at D11.7 billion, (30.7 per cent of GDP). Current Expenditure, which is, composed of personnel emoluments, other charges and interest, is expected to consume 71.7% of total expenditure in 2015, in comparison to 70% in 2014.”

However, capital expenditure is projected to fall from 30% of total expenditure in 2014 to a projected 29.3% in 2015. The fiscal deficit for the upcoming fiscal year is project at D504 million or 13.3% of GDP, in comparison to an expected deficit of D3.4 billion in 2014 or 10% of GDP. 

Touray added that net domestic borrowing for the year 2015 is projected at 1% of GDP, a significant decrease from 10% of GDP expected at the end of 2014.

He noted that despite external challenges, including the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the effects of climate change, the spillover effects of sluggish global growth, coupled with domestic expenditure pressure -- the government will ensure the realization of visions 2016 and 2020.

“We are twelve months to the end of the millennium development goals, twelve months to the end of the programme for accelerated growth and employment, and 24 months to the target date for food self sufficiency and sixty months to vision 2020,” he said.

“We must all therefore redouble and unite our efforts; together we surely can realize our goals.” 

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