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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, GST Reaches Out to MDAs
By Vidal Boltman
Feb 16, 2009, 00:10
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The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Administrative Unit of the National Revenue Authority (NRA), on Thursday 12th February 2009 held a workshop for Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at the Santano House, Howe Street, Freetown.

Addressing participants, the Resident Consultant of GST, George Blankson, said the essence of the workshop was to give them the flavour of what GST is all about, noting that the workshop will help them come to better understanding of the policy of GST implementation so as to be able to know where to assist the government and NRA in raising much needed revenue.

According to Mr. Blankson, it is envisaged that the introduction of the GST will generate additional tax revenue through widening of the tax base.

He said the initiative to replace the current Sales Tax and five other Domestic Indirect Taxes with GST is a critical element in the drive to broaden the base of the domestic indirect tax system by moving it from restricted coverage at the report and manufacturing levels and stretching it to cover the glowing whole sale and retail sub-sectors. He said this is necessary for ensuring that growth in all sectors of the economy reflects in the tax revenue.

In his statement, the Acting Commissioner in charge of GST, Alfred Akibo-Betts, pointed out that GST is a replacement tax, adding that it is not going to be introduced as an additional impact, but rather as a replacement for a number of existing indirect taxes currently being administered by the NRA Domestic and Import Sales Taxes, Restaurant and Food Tax, Message Tax, Professional Services Tax, Hotel Accommodation Tax and Entertainment Tax. He added that it is these taxes that would be consolidated and administered as GST. He also pointed out that the introduction of GST is key to the programme for the modernization of the revenue administration which has as its focus enhancing domestic revenue mobilization to support priority spending.

The workshop attracted members of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), the Army, Prisons, Government Ministries, Civil Aviation, NPA and various Parastatals.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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