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Cameroon's 2016 Budget: How hopeful is Finance Minister Alamine Mey?

The Minister of finance, Alamine Mey has said, ``in an effort to raise funds for the 2016 State budget during a turbulent international economic climate and at a time when the country is engaged in a war against Boko Haram, the government has decided to intensify revenue collection throughout the country``. He made the revelations October 29 in Yaounde during the council of ministers meeting.

Internet providers, mobile telephone companies and domestic gas producers will pay extra taxes to the state in 2016. The proposals on the minister’s table seeking approval from parliament during the December session, highlights that Cameroon’s budget- 4249.8 billion francs up from 3746.6 billion will be realized through the expansion of the state tax base which is the only solution to meet up the state collective resources.

Minister Alamine equally told other cabinet colleagues that specific taxes will be levied on distributors and industrial gas distributors such as Gaz du Cameroon, Liquid Air, Azote Gazeaux, Azote Liquide, Special Welding gas, Refrigerator gas, Oxygen Gaz, compressed Air etc. In one of these measures taken by the directorate of taxation department in the ministry of finance, the service head Mr. Modeste Fotoing announced that for the first 9 months of 2015, 1.300 billion francs was collected out of the 1.640 billion francs envisaged for the year under review.

According to the director General of Taxation in that Ministry, Modeste Fotoing, the success was due to the wide range of reforms carried out by his service such as, the innovation in the 2015 finance law, the cleaning up of the tax payers index, the putting in place of seven medium tax offices, the strengthening of the Directorate General Taxation capacity and the change in the procedure for tax payment nationwide. In the future Mr. Modeste noted, the taxation department in order to meet its objective will consolidate the reforms on the tax base by continuously cleaning tax payers’ index and reforms on Excise duties and also raise the installment on income tax amongst others.

However experts say the decision to impose taxes and reduce the amount paid during cash transactions by buyers will enable the government raise more revenue, curtail money laundry and currency manipulation. Cash payment if restricted will allow the state to control the money in circulation.

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