Yaoundé (National Times)-Cameroon’s Minister of Finance, Louis Paul Motaze, says taxes are not that high in the country as many people think compared to some other countries on the continent.
The Minister made the assertion in an interview he granted the State broadcaster (CRTV) within the week shortly after appearing before the Budget and Finance Committee of the National Assembly to expound on innovations within the 2019 draft State budget.
According to Motaze, most people fail to understand that the Government has to raise revenue in order to meet up with its responsibility towards the citizenry.
The Minister said revenue comes from taxes to meet up with the expectation of the population.
Motaze said the Government is trying to be less dependent reason it has to raise its own internal revenue to through taxes. Such taxes, he averred, are not that high contrary to the impression some people have.
The country’s Finance boss explained that to be able to give the citizens good roads, State infrastructure, education, pay salaries and carry out development projects, the Government has to raise money through taxes without which it will be impossible.
The Minister’s observations comes as the country’s proposed budget of FCFA 4,850.5 billion is undergoing examination at the National Assembly. The budget has an increase of FCFA 161 billion compared to 2017.
Early last week, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang, told Parliamentarians as he unveiled Government’s 2019 blue print that innovations have been made in terms of taxes according to the dictates of the general Tax Code.
Tax audit deadlines have been harmonised, and sanctions reinforced for the non-payment of taxes deducted at source.
The tax base on excise duty, brewery products terms of payment of the same on gambling and entertainment games have also been clarified.
A series of other taxes have been reviewed and increased.
At the base, Cameroonians on the streets see Government’s taxing policy as clamping down on their ventures, especially at the individual levels.
Most enterprises, especially in the informal sector claim taxes and other administrative bottlenecks hinder them from taking off strongly.
Economists and other observers of the polity have advocated for the elimination of taxes on new businesses as the first step towards allowing them to thrive.
Such, some argue, will give small and medium sized enterprises owners the chance to employ more young Cameroonians and partly address issues of unemployment.