IMF and Iraqi private sector discuss improving tax revenues


Baghdad – Agencies

Representatives of the Iraqi private sector discussed with a delegation from the International Monetary Fund, the latter’s approval of a loan to Iraq to pay the arrears of Iraqi contractors, processors and farmers, and ways to solve this problem, as this is important in the stability of the economy.

IMF Vice President for the Middle East and Asia, Christian Jos, asked at a meeting in Baghdad about the prospects for increasing state revenues, including the activation of taxes and those imposed on non-oil products.

He pointed out that «customs duties were between 5 and 10 percent», saying that «is not the right way to collect customs revenues». He stressed the need to «change this method to reach 30 percent».

“The fastest gains and revenues result from the regulation of the Taxation Unit, and these are generating significant revenues as they are imposed on the large segment of traders,” he said.

He called for a “freeze of employment until the development of the administration, because the high proportion of civil servants was a means to satisfy some and employ them without regard to efficiency, and will lead to a deficit in the next ten years.”

He pointed to «the problem of weakness of the banking sector and the importance of strengthening the business through the restructuring of the banking« Rafidain »and« rational »government, and open a large space in front of private banks with the need to assess the weaknesses and the establishment of the right foundations to combat money laundering, can be recourse to the Integrity Commission and specialized organizations» .

He noted «the progress made by the Office of Financial Supervision in the audit of unaudited transactions».

The economic expert Ibrahim al-Baghdadi said in an intervention that Iraq “began to meet the customs tariff, which increased its resources in some customs outlets to more than 30 times, and increased the collection of electricity 20 times, and referred the Ministry of Electricity to collect electricity wages on companies under investment contracts, Positive results ».

He stressed that «payment of receivables will move the wheel of the market and address the weakness of liquidity in the markets, which affected the level of per capita income and small businesses».

The head of the Iraqi Contractors Union, Ali Sanafi, called for “the release of arrears of transactions audited by the Office of Financial Supervision.”

He said that «the union of contractors includes 34 thousand contractors, and receive a large part of their suffering in the stage of tax calculation, because the amounts of tax deduction reserved in the provinces».

“The reform of the banking sector is a gateway to the entry of diversified investments into Iraq,” said economic researcher Lubna al-Shammari.

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