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Fuel Subsidy 2022: Minister Keita Tells Parliament Government Spent D1.3 Billion

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Hon. Seedy Keita
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs

By Landing Ceesay

The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Hon. Seedy Keita, told Parliament that the Government spent D1.3 billion on fuel subsidies in 2022.

“As we are all aware, when the International Oil prices went up, the government subsidised. And as of now, we have subsidised to a tone of D1.3 Billion from January 2022 to August 2022. So that is the impact of the reduction of tax. That reduction occurred because of what happened in the international oil market. We also have certain tax exemption like duty wavers that coincides with the operations. All the major operations that are taking the construction of the OIC roads, all the inputs that come are duty exempted. So that’s another factor of tax reduction,” he he said.

Responding to the question on the cause of the tax reduction by 14% in 2022, the Finance Minister said the tax reduction was caused by the subsidies the government made on the fuel prices, this year.

The Finance Minister further told the lawmakers that International trade used to generate the largest tax, but that has declined now due to supply chain disruptions.

Hon. Keita said the government observed the increase in domestic tax collection and set up a special directorate within the Ministry of Finance to look at only tax and revenue.

He said that the directorate would be working with the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) to broaden the tax base and ensure more rigorous collections.

“We have taken steps by comprising the ASYCUDA World by going digital. All the revenues that are collected would also enhance efficiency. We did a similar intervention at the Senegambia bridge where the revenues went from D16 million monthly to D43 million, since our intervention. We would do a similar intervention at the bridges of Basse and Fatoto. So in a nutshell, we are looking across widening the revenue base within the limitations that are there,” he added.

The Finance Minister made these remarks on Wednesday during an oral questions and answers session at the Parliament.

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