Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Feds amass 35 billion birr in first half

The Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) has collected more than 35 billion birr in tax and related revenues during the first six months of the budget year, said its Director-General Melaku Fenta on Tuesday.
The federal government tasked ERCA to bring in about 71 billion birr in taxes and lottery sales’ profit in twelve months to partially cover the year’s record budget of 117.8 billion birr.
During the first six months of the fiscal year – July to December – ERCA almost managed to meet the half yearly targets by collecting 35.1 billion birr. However, it fell well short of its own ambitions of amassing over 38 billion in the period, according to a report Melaku submitted to the House of Peoples’ Representatives on Tuesday.
The reported first half year’s performance of 35.1 billion birr is above 40 percent from last year’s similar period. This means the feds collected 10.2 billion birr more in revenues.
Though below in house targets the first half performance is by no means small, Melaku told MPs in Tuesday’s session. It was only two years ago that ERCA under Melaku, who holds a ministerial portfolio and is a member of the cabinet, saw reforms bearing fruit that enabled his institution, which went through multiple reforms, to deliver what the federal government for long was unsuccessfully demanding.
Surpassing the target for the first time, 35.6 billion birr was collected during the 2009/10 fiscal year and it resulted in a supplementary budget of 1.5 billion birr during the year financing public projects that didn’t have money at the start of the year.
The federal government had been netting over four billion birr every month during last year, another sign that reforms are evidently bearing fruit. Thirty six billion birr was for example the intake of ERCA in the first nine months of last year, a figure that was more than the total revenues of the federal government a year earlier.
The latest performance is about six billion birr a month for ERCA.
The federal government is further pushing for more money; in a five year plan to fourfold latest tax and nontax related revenues to 150.6 billion birr by 2015.
100 billion birr is the goal set for next fiscal year. Consecutively 123.9 billion birr and 150.5 billion birr marks are the last two year’s goals outlined in the five year strategic plan that dusks in 2015.
The Addis Ababa City Municipality tax collection, put under ERCA, is also seeing income boost, according to Melaku. The division has collected about 3.2 billion birr in tax and related income from the city registering 52.4 percent increase from last year’s similar period revenues.