BUJUMBURA July 8th (ABP) – The NGO Word and Actions for the Awakening of Consciousness and the Evolution of Mentalities (PARCEM), organized on Wednesday July 5, 2023, in Bujumbura, a reflection workshop on strategies for mobilizing resources for budget financing 2023-2024.
The chairman of PARCEM, Mr. Faustin Ndikumana, announced that the workshop objective was to awaken citizens’ awareness in general and that of leaders in particular, in relation to the current economic situation, especially on the budget financing strategy in order to achieve the vision of the President of the Republic “Burundi emerging in 2040 and Burundi developed in 2060.”
In his presentation, Professor Cyriaque Niyizonkiza indicated that tax revenues cover only 68% of State expenditure and that they must be supplemented by other sources of financing.
In addition, he explained, the tax revenues collected are insufficient, following the low level of tax compliance.
Mr. Niyizonkiza also indicated that the concept of public interest, justifying the voluntary contribution to tax, is not yet an internalized phenomenon in Burundian culture. Moreover, the lack of participatory structure of the people in the setting up of public expenditure programs is not strange to this situation where the payment of tax may not be considered a duty for some taxpayers.
Referring to the statement issued in June 2023 by the Minister of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security, Martin Niteretse, Professor Niyizonkiza showed that other challenges hindering the proper collection of taxes and duties are fraud, lack of collaboration between OBR agents and the administration, lack of awareness of tax compliance.
To deal with this, Mr. Niyizonkiza proposed that the mode of taxation be negotiated between the OBR and the taxpayers, through their representatives. According to him, tax policy must have a more incentive than coercive function.
Regarding the tax payment, he pointed out that all taxpayers are concerned and that it must be paid on all of their taxable items.
In turn, Professor Michel Masabo demonstrated how taxes encourage the State to cover its expenses, while pointing out that exemptions have become very numerous, which means that the State loses its advantages.
He also indicated that exemptions are not granted to those who are in need, while their amount has not stopped increasing since 2015. For this, he recommended good management of exemptions and a reinstatement because of incentive policies.