South Sudan Government embarks on revenue modernization and tax reform system

Apr 27, 2017

Hon. Mou Ambrose Riiny Thiik, Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning

A two-day seminar aimed at creating awareness and discussing the modernization and tax policy reform agenda of the Government at national and state levels has recently concluded sessions in Juba with a set of resolutions.

 The seminar was part of a multi-year effort, supported by Government of Japan, to strengthen the ability of state governments to sustainably expand the domestic resource base and efficiently allocate these resources in a transparent and equitable manner for service delivery.

At the close of lengthy delibrations, and as a way forward, the stakeholders came up with a number of resolutions to modernize tax system and reform policies, including implementation of a unified tax system across the states in South Sudan and urged the three beneficiary states to demonstrate full commitment towards the implementation so that other states can benefit from the same support.

To ensure transparency and accountability in the process of generating and disbursing the resources, the seminar adopted a resolution calling on UNDP to bring Anticorruption Commission on board as stake holder in revenue modernization and tax policy reform.

The participants also urged the government to speed action on the establishment of the national revenue authority so that the state system can be linked to the national system for smooth revenue administration.

It was also resolved that the minister of finance and planning should, as matter of urgency, come out with appropriate regulations to operationalize the collection of some tax, especially the state personal income tax.

Speaking on behalf of the two pilot beneficiary states of Jubek and Aweil, Hon. John Ijino Lako, Jubek State Minister of Finance, stated that they will work hard and collaborate effectively with the development partners to ensure that the support achieves its desired objectives. He stated, “Our success will be an opportunity for other states in the country to benefit from the pilot project.”

Hon. Mou Ambrose Riiny Thiik, Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, in a keynote address, underlined that non-oil revenue generation in the country is still weak and needs a lot of reforms, explaining that the “Government is working to improve non-oil revenue generation system in the states and national government institutions.” He said the Government is about to take steps to establish a national revenue authority, review the existing tax laws and standards, and introduce an integrated ICT system to support tax administration, stressing that “UNDP is a very vital partner in this process.”

UNDP’s strategic support to the Ministry of Finance has been focused on technical aspects including in developing a robust policy and legal framework at the state level which can lay the ground for local revenue mobilization in a transparent and accountable manner. On this work-stream, technical support is being provided to the state Ministry of Finance, State Revenue Authority and State Legislative Assembly on oversight matters with the generous financial support of the Government of Japan.

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