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31.05.2004 Regional News

Assembly members lash at Revenue collectors.

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Tema, May 31, GNA -- Members of the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA) have expressed concern about slow inflow of revenue for the assembly, saying in spite of the early approval of fee fixing resolution followed by quick distribution of bills to tax payers, revenue collected is low. They expressed the fear that the 60 billion cedis target set for the year may not be achieved, in view of the way revenue collectors go about their work in mobilising revenue.

The assembly members were discussing revenue mobilisation in the Municipal Chief Executive sessional address which had stated that in spite of public education which has convinced most rate payers, the revenue inflow for this year has been slow in picking up. Mr Anim Addo, chairman of finance and administration committee of the assembly expressed concern about how the commission collectors were working, stressing "the commission collectors are not working hard enough to bring in revenue."

Mr. Addo said an amount of three billion cedis that was collected during the first quarter is very disappointing, and it shows that if they do not work hard, the assembly would not be able to realise its target of 60 billion cedis.

He said, sometimes he suspected that people were putting money in their pockets, and called for proper supervision of the revenue collectors in the assembly.

Other assembly members said, looking at the community one market, TMA is sitting on gold but is not making use of it, for it is unbelievable that daily revenue from that market should be 400,000 cedis. They said when at one time some assembly members accompanied the revenue collectors to the market, they were able to collect one million cedis within about five hours, adding that they could collect two million cedis if collectors start early at the market alone. Mr Samuel Aryee, Municipal Finance Officer, in reaction gave the assurance that the assembly hoped to achieve their 60 billion cedis target.

He however, explained that he would soon lay before the finance and administration committee some problems in some areas of revenue generation that have cropped up following some directives by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

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