PROPOSED TAX FREE MOVEMNET IN THE REGION OVERDUE
Editorial 15th October 2018
A regional conference on taxation through customs division with emphasis on capacity building has just ended in Kampala, Uganda in which South Sudan was represented by the National Revenue Authority (NRA) Commissioner General Olympio Attipoe, among others. The main discussions centred on the management of taxes in the East African region. South Sudan had earlier applied for a grace period of three years not to implement the common external tariff which comes to an end by next year. The common external tariff major provisions are equal tariff for all goods from outside across the region and no custom duty on goods made in the region. This sounds okay to the point that when parliament will have ratified the law of the common external tariff, movement of goods made in the region will not be taxed and those being imported from outside the bloc will have same taxes levied on them within the region. There was a move to have all citizens in the region move freely without any restriction except in cases where one is suspected to be having ill motives against the host country. For trade and business to boom in the region, people and goods must be allowed to move freely. This is how the balancing act can be effected and efficiency achieved for the benefit of the bloc. Other countries in the region which have progressed and developed in economic stability should support those which are still struggling to reach their pace. Collectively, the East African Parliament should work towards setting the region free and let others learn from them. There should be some semblance of order in the administration and application of the laws for the benefit of the whole region and the continent.