Finance Ministry embarks on tax reforms: Kuma

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Hurry Kuma Minister of Finance and Tresury

By EDDIE OSIFELO

MINISTER of Finance and Treasury is embarking to achieve tax reform within the 100 days policy framework of the government.

Speaking to Parliament recently, Minister Harry Kuma said the aim is to develop a better tax system and tax administration that is simple and easy to manage, fair and less costly to business and wage earners.

He said the sequence is to do a regular Tax Administration Bill first to strengthen compliance.

“It is important to strengthen compliance before any new system comes.

“Because when any new system comes, you have already lay the foundation to do your collection properly,” he said.

Kuma said the regular Tax Administration Bill will be coming to the chamber (Parliament) soon.

He said the Value Added Tax system is still in design.

Further to that, Kuma said the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) interim board will be created.

He said as soon after that, the ministry will recruit consultant to help them develop an operational plan.

“This is very important to address credit to the private sector especially Small Medium Enterprises and our people in rural areas,” he said.

Kuma said the ministry will also engaged Technical Advisors.

In addition, he said the ministry is working on Constituency Development Fund (CDF) regulation to help Members of Parliament to spend and implement funds and CDF properly.

For logging sustainability regulation, Kuma said they are projecting for decline in this sector on volumes of logs harvested, but at the same time trying to focus on maximising the returns of less volumes of logs exported.

“My ministry will be working very closely with Ministry of Forestry to come up with this regulation and to implement it,” he said.

Kuma was elected into Parliament this year.

Prior to that, he was the former Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance and Treasury.