The need for balance and fine tuning

  • 23-12-2016 Editorial from Myanma Alinn
  • A country needs to impose taxes to carry out the plans of government. Revenues must be in proportion to the government spending. Only then will the government be able to implement the various public projects fully without interruption.
    The proportion of GDP to the revenue collected is only 7.4 per cent. Countries which have been designated as least developed countries like Cambodia and Laos have a percentage way higher than Myanmar. Cambodia’s tax to GDP ratio is 6 per cent, while that of Laos is 16.1 percent. These ratios for Cambodia and Laos have been taken from 2014 statistics. We are presenting these figures here to underscore the need for Myanmar to step up the work of revenue collection and to broaden the revenue base as much as possible.
    However, we may say that Myanmar tax imposition on a financial year basis has been growing significantly. In the 2011-2012 financial year, the amount of taxes and revenues collected was Ks. 2538 billion, while in 2015-2016 this figure rose to Ks. 4636 billion. Therefore, in order to keep up this momentum of growth to a desired level, just as there is a need to work harder to educate the people on an extensive basis, there is also a need to work harder to make the tax collection process more effective and more extensive. On this matter, the collection of taxes and revenues effectively and on a more extensive basis is one side of the coin while there is also a need to fulfill the needs of the other side of the problem. We need to ensure that economic enterprises which are capable of paying taxes increase in number and strength. Only when we are successful in working for the establishment of strong and vibrant economic enterprises, will we be able to collect more taxes and consequently the purchasing power of the citizens will increase. Only then will our nation really progress and develop.
    A proposal has been put forth which states that while we are in the process of trying to collect more taxes, we should not create an adverse effect on the task of developing the investment climate. It also states that we should undertake this process in a balanced way. I wish to respectfully state that I welcome and support this proposal.

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