BY SAMIE WAKORI
MALAITA Province must consider putting in place an effective mechanism to stimulate broader revenue collection across the province.
Senior Revenue Officer of Revenue Division under the Provincial Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Mr Johnson Houma said this is a crucial area to pin-down work on, if province really wants to improve on its revenue collection.
In a recent interview he suggested that a strategy was once used by the province way back in the 1990s that need to be reconsidered.
“Way back 1990s, the province had its revenue collection offices in the sub-stations across the province.
“They include in Afio (southern region), Atori (eastern region), Malu’u (northern region) and the provincial town Auki.
“The establishment of these offices, made it easy to carry-out revenue collection across the province during those days.
“There were challenges experienced as I was one of the revenue officer manning sub-station offices in the province,” Houma said.
He said difficulty faced covered lot of areas, but even then revenue was collected in rural areas.
“Unlike now, the focus of revenue collection is on businesses operating in Auki and major business operations across the province.
“The province never go as far as collecting revenue or to ensure small businesses like canteens or others in the rural areas to pay their business licenses which used to before,” Houma said
He said this was an area of concern for the province and it must work towards addressing it.
Houma said the province won’t just expect businesses across the province to come forward and registered their business or pay-up revenues.
He said nobody or businesses especially small businesses will do that unless a mechanism in-place to regulate it.
Houma stressed that it’s an area of great need for the province and proper devise must exist to encourage broader revenue collection across then province.