The National, Thursday July 25th, 2013
I READ with interest William Duma’s statement on poor revenue collection and I agree that it cannot meet the national budget’s demands.
The sad part is that he is a member of the former and current government and should have provided better suggestions on this.
He made a mockery of himself as a government minister by coming up with this conclusion after managing the resource sector for some time.
There are many ways to improve revenue collection from the entrusted collectors, which include the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC), Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC), aid donors and other departments.
The Government should not be investing in businesses, but should be creating a conducive environment for businesses to start and grow.
The Government can collect a lot from tax on businesses which can provide the bulk of its revenue.
In our case, the Government is missing the focus and thinks about investing when it cannot manage its investments well.
It should be investing in the public service machinery to implement checks and balances as well as charge fines for defaults and improve revenue collection.
Just by looking at the largest budget marker, Duma should think about how to improve revenue collection by the IRC.
But before doing that, he has to research the impediments to revenue collection and troubleshoot the problems.
Only then, will he find more money for his budget.
On that note, revenue collection should not be the sole function of the IRC but must be shared by other departments too.
For instance, the police department can collect fines from traffic offences, illegal buai sellers and petty crimes. The general trend is that they are beaten up and set free.
Another point to ponder is the complacency for change in management and work.
Just look at the appointments of executives of top government departments, where some have served as heads forbetween 15 and 20 years.
There is no significant change in the process of work, team building, new innovative ideas, etc.
We need good heads with bright ideas to advance their departments’ role in revenue collection.
Revenue collection can be a function of all government agencies.
Observer analyst, Via email