Accra, Jan. 13, GNA - The Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) last year collected 56 per cent of total revenue of 21 trillion cedis generated by the three revenue agencies, even though it failed to meet its set target for that year.
CEPS fell short of meeting its target by eight per cent, even though, it had expected to make up for the shortfall by auctioning seized un-customed goods and vehicles, for which Government approval was not given on time, this was revealed at a CEPS Management on Friday. The meeting, convened at the instance of the Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr Anthony Osei Akoto was to take stock of CEPS' performance last year and to chart a path for 2006.
Dr Osei Akoto said, even though, the overall revenue collection target for 2005 was met by revenue agencies, there was room for improvement.
He said that Government appreciated the difficulties they had had to go through in the process of collecting revenue and would want to support their work.
The Deputy Minister told them that debt relief from IMF and the World Bank was tied to how much revenue was mobilized domestically. He said CEPS revenue collection threshold for 2006 would be raised by a further 14 per cent and this demanded teamwork and cohesion to meet the target.
Dr Osei Akoto said the Minister of Finance was particularly interested in CEPS, and would constantly interact with it to ensure that all possible avenues were exploited for CEPS to meet its target. He tasked CEPS to prop up it public relations machinery, particularly in the areas of education, to get more people to meet their tax obligation, because most people did not know its functions. Mr Harry Owusu, Chief Executive of the Revenue Agencies Governing Board (RAGB), said last year was not exceptional, thus posing a challenge to the Management of CEPS to meet its target for 2006. This, he said, required internal vigilance, cohesion, hard work and putting aside internal bickering by personnel.
He said factors that militated against the Service not meeting its target included giving away of 40 per cent of exemptions on imports and the zero per cent ratings placed on some imports. Mr Owusu stressed the need to curtail "some frivolous" exemptions on imports and called for a critical look at the valuation of imported items.