Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Country Insight

Burundi: The Government reported that revenues rose by 38% to 325 billion Burundi francs (USD 258 million) in 2009 from a year earlier, partly due to higher value added tax collections and new tariffs from the EAC (East African Community) trade bloc. The Government argued that both business people and the government benefited from the new tax system such as 18% VAT and the EAC common external tariff (10-30%) since July 2009. The government expects domestic revenues to rise to 367 billion Burundi francs (USD 291 million) this year thanks to the tax reforms and a new centralised revenue board expected to be operational by March 2010.

Ghana: The Government launched the Ghana Revenue Authority, the integration of the three revenue agencies, to enhance efficiency and cut out tasks which are presently duplicated. The Government reported that it would continue to undertake tax reforms such as stepping up tax revenues from rental income, and undertaking a nationwide automation of revenue system. It also announced that revenues recorded 1.8 billion new cedi (USD 1.2 billion) in 2009, exceeding by 14% the target of 1.5 billion new cedi (USD 1.1 billion), and is expected to rise to 2.2 billion new cedi (USD 1.6 billion) in 2010.

The DRC: The Government announced that it would amend its 2010 draft budget (of USD 5.3 billion) to control spending as a measure to ensure it qualifies for more debt relief under the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) scheme. The decision came after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that the country's external debt was unsustainable even after obtaining a USD 550 million loan, urging it to take extra measures to qualify for further debt relief.