By: Kebba AF Touray

The Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly, yesterday 25th April 2018considered and amended the Income and Value Added Tax (VAT) amendment Bill 2012, during the First Extraordinary Session of the National Assembly in the 2018 Legislative year.

This Bill seeks to strengthen the application of capital gains tax in Section 104 of the Income and Value Added Tax Act 2012, remove royalties paid to Government as a deductible expense and covers imposing of tax on sale of interest or rights in any asset, licence or permit located in The Gambia and value added services rendered by experts from outside the country.

The overall objective of the amendment is to address the inadequacies with regards to Capital Gains Tax and improve revenue collection on Value Added Tax.

In amending the Bill, the committee observed that Section 104 (B) of the Income and Value Added Tax Act 2012 which read: “but does not include a depreciable asset or stock-in trade”, contradicts the Section and the Committee urged the House for it to be deleted. The committee also learnt that a Section dealing with imposition of tax on value added services by foreigners, is missing in the proposed amendment and directs that the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), consult the Ministry of Justice and other stakeholders, to include the missing part before the Bill is tabled in the House.

The recommendations made by the committee are: that the House approve the proposed amendment to the Income and Value Added Tax Bill 2018, with the inclusion of the missing part(s) and to delete Section 104 (b) of the Income and Value Added Tax Act, 2012.

FPAC concluded that The Gambia is a tax-based economy and it is therefore prudent and significant that new innovative ways of tax collection are introduced, to ensure maximization of revenue collection. The 2012 Bill was amended with the new 2018 Bill, after consideration and debate by Deputies.

In the same vein, Deputies amended The Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) Bill 2018.

This Bill according to FPAC, seeks to place all procurement Authority under the GPPA and has recommended its enactment by Members.

The reasons for the amendment include: i) the Major Tender Board (MTB) is a duplication of the Authority and ii) that MTBs no longer exists in many parts of the world, where a procurement Authority exist; that the GPPA currently deals with procurement below the D10 million threshold and the abolition of the Major Tender Board will enable GPPA to deal with procurement above D10 million.

The finance and Public Account Committee, recommends that the proposed amendment is genuine and in line with best practices and therefore urges Members for its approval.

FPAC concluded that the GPPA is an Act of the National Assembly and the Authority was created purposely to guide and supervise all procurement related issues in The Gambia; that the establishment of a parallel Authority, will affect the effective functioning of the GPPA.

The move was debated, considered and amended by members.

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