The National Revenue Authority (NRA) is on a modernization drive to improve the customs business climate in the country.
Speaking at the Santanno House at Howe Street yesterday, the commissioner of NRA, Alieu Sesay, said the responsibilities of NRA was to collect taxes and facilitate trade.
He added that many businesses had complained about many things that were not of good image to his institution, adding that there had also been complaints of smuggling and undervalued of goods.
The commissioner disclosed that, “there is going to be a tax payers’ identification scheme which will be launched soon”.
Mr Sesay maintained that this process would change and modernize the commission and also clean the bad perception of NRA and come with new things that would be of benefits to the government, businesses, and consumers.
The minister of Finance and Economic Planning, David Carew, said “NRA is a vehicle the country uses to mobilize revenue”.
He maintained that, “the government will work with NRA to make sure businesses survive and revenues are collected”.
Giving his PowerPoint presentation on customs modernization and the role and benefits of stakeholders, agents and importers, Mr Joseph Macarthy said customs and excise was in charge of collecting revenue, promotion and protection of local industries and trade facilitation.
Mr Macarthy stated that one major benefit of modernization was that it would make customs procedures transparent and would enable faster electronic lodgment of customs’ declaration.
He added that there would be less physical examination as long as customers’ documents were correct and also there would be less fraud due to automated calculation of duties and taxes.
How to achieve this, the collector said there was going to be new legislations or amendments to existing customs and excise laws.
Mr Macarthy also noted that there would be institutional changes that would involve the setting up of new units, the merging of some and the elimination of others and build the capacity of the workers.