By Bida Elly David
South Sudan’s national minister of finance and economic planning, Dr. Bak Barnaba Chol disclosed a plan to conduct state tour to assess financial institutions with a focus on tax collection.
The minister’s proposed assessment tour is prompted by reports of misappropriations, believed to be hindering the progress of the financial sector across the country.
However, minister Bak did not mention any case of appropriation in the states.
Dr. Bak said the tour will enable his ministry to stop serious malpractices within institutions and pave the way for policymaking.
He said the tax department is a sensitive sector that fills the treasury of the nation to support service delivery for the citizens.
Random and illegal collection of fees has impacted the tax section as traders suffer from paying fees to the wrong hands.
But Bak said his tour will target those illegal highway roadblocks that have contributed to high commodity prices.
“We need to ensure the removal of checkpoints countrywide to reduce transaction costs and commodity prices. Conduct development center research to inform new and ongoing development programs,” he said during a presentation at the concluded national economic conference.
Minister Barnaba said the tour will enable the government to monitor and evaluate resource allocations and milestones attained to provide evidence on the value of the money.
“We need to use oil revenue to invest in productive sectors such as agriculture and food security, wildlife conservation and tourism, livestock and fisheries, mining, trade, and industry, water resources and irrigation, land housing and urban development, the environment, forestry, and investment,” he highlighted.
The National Revenue Authority must continue its recruitment processes as per the Human Resource Manual and Five-Year Strategy Plan to prevent incompetent staff, the Minister added.
The tour will also undertake an examination exercise on customs management in regard to revenue collection as well as the movement of labor and capital.
The exercise will be conducted in conjunction with the National Revenue Authority.