Schlettwein tables Namra Bill

21 Jun 2017 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 21 JUN (NAMPA) - Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein on Tuesday tabled the Namibia Revenue Agency Bill of 2017 in the National Assembly, saying it will transform the existing Department of Inland Revenue and the Directorate of Customs and Excise.
The Bill is an establishing law for a semi-autonomous revenue agency to be known as the Namibia Revenue Agency (Namra).
Motivating the Bill, Schlettwein said the institution will act in the interest of the State and streamline the collection and processing of revenue using 79 per cent of the ministry’s staff.
“This new institution will serve as the agency for the State, with the primary function of assessment and collection of public revenue for the benefit of the State Revenue Fund as well as the administration of revenue and customs and excise laws,” he explained.
Namibia, he noted, is a resource-based economy, which comes with the associate complexity of potential illicit financial flows, transfer pricing, profit shifting and other base-eroding tax planning activities.
These functions require specialised skills that could not be best optimised in the public service environment due to constraints on the acquisition of the specialised skills, said the minister.
Schlettwein informed the August House that establishing Namra will inject a critical mass of the appropriate and specialised skills needed to carry out the functions of a modern revenue administration and trade facilitation office.
He said it will improve operational efficiency of the revenue and customs and excise offices, while providing a robust institutional platform for implementing revenue administration reforms and the enforcement of revenue and customs and excise laws.
All that, Schlettwein noted, will increase revenue collection through speedy implementation of the reforms and application of technology, while safeguarding the State’s capacity to continue providing reliable and affordable public services.
Namra will be overseen by a board of directors appointed by the minister on the basis of expertise and will be headed by a commissioner, also appointed by the minister on account of skills and experience as well as meeting the requirements.
The board will serve for three years and the commissioner will serve for five years.