The County Government of Busia will introduce new regulations to boost revenue collection, County Executive Committee Member for Finance, Economic Planning and ICT, Phaustine Barasa has said.
Addressing County Revenue Officers from all the seven Sub Counties at Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) in Busia Tuesday, the finance CEC member said the County Government was in the process of introducing Trade, Ratings and CESS regulations which will increase the revenues collected upon being passed by the County Assembly and implemented as they would help seal loopholes for losing revenue.
She noted that despite the CESS, Ratings and Trade Acts being in place, there were no regulations to guide their implementation.
“The County Assembly already passed revenue collection laws but lack of regulations on their implementation made them inactive. I believe that once these three regulations are passed and implemented, the revenue we collect will increase significantly,” she said.
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The CEC member warned revenue officer against being lax and negligent in their duties saying that “we shall catch up with you in a matter of time and all those found involved in unethical conduct will be punished.” She urged them to observe accountability, transparency and honesty while serving people of Busia.
Also present in the meeting were the County Head of Revenue Anthony Opondo and the Director of Budget and Economic Planning, Priscah Omoit. Priscah expressed concerns over the decline of revenues collected by the County Government of Busia as compared to the previous financial years like 2012/2013 where a total of Sh 200M was collected to 2016/2017 in which only Sh53M was accumulated as per the report of the controller of National Budget.
In The 2018/2019 financial year, the county targets to raise a tune of Sh 452M.
Mr. Opondo said that as a way of improving performance, revenue collections will be reshuffled from their current workstations.
The revenue officers cited inadequate staffs, porous market structures, lack of education on the importance of paying tax among the citizens; and failure of automation machines as challenges affecting them in the field.
This meeting comes just a day after Busia County DG, Moses Mulomi launched an initiative that will enable citizens to access 16 county services including remitting revenues at Busia Huduma Centre.