Financial Governance Committee welcomes commitment to reduce cash transactions
The Financial Governance Committee (FGC) today held its 24th meeting in Villa Somalia, Mogadishu. The Federal Minister of Finance and Chair of the FGC, H.E. Dr. Abdirahman Beileh welcomed H.E. Dr. Abdirahman Abdi Hashi, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources and representative of the Cabinet Inter-Ministerial Economic Committee, as a new member of the FGC. The FGC also welcomed the establishment of the Committee on the part of the Somali Federal Government and the inclusion of its representative in the FGC Membership, which will provide an opportunity for further fiscal and economic policy coordination and action going forward.
The FGC received an update on the Federal Government’s renewed efforts to improve revenue mobilization. It welcomed the move to reduce collections in cash by using the banking system for tax payments, as well as the roll-out of the financial management system to non-tax revenue collecting agencies such as Immigration and Commerce. The Committee discussed the recent cancellation of two tax collection contracts with private sector companies. The Federal Government has now resumed direct responsibility for collection of road taxes and property transfer taxes.
The FGC stressed the need to monitor revenue collections from these taxes in the coming months to ensure that collection levels are maintained. The FGC was also briefed on the status of 2017 budget implementation and 2018 budget preparations. It was informed that the Federal Government is taking steps to reduce the use of cash in effecting payments. The 2017 Supplementary Budget incorporates a $50 pay rise to SNA personnel, contingent on the SNA implementing a system of direct payment of salaries to individuals’ bank accounts.
The Chair of the FGC also recommitted the Federal Government to paying cash allowances for fresh rations (‘idaan’) to individuals’ bank accounts. The FGC welcomed the news that the Central Bank of Somalia (CBS), with the assistance of the World Bank’s STAR initiative, has recovered frozen assets amounting to Euros 300,000 from two commercial banks in Belgium and France. The CBS also continues to make progress towards its goal of currency reform, in order to re-establish the credibility of the local currency.
Finally, the FGC submitted an advisory report to the FGS on the ‘Protection of Public Land and Property’. The FGC welcomed the Government’s intention to take strong action to examine ways to help prevent the embezzlement of State assets.