With public expenditure set to increase in upcoming years, the government is now working on a new sub-decree aimed at boosting non-tax revenue collection, which, according to a high-ranking official, will be ready by July.
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A draft for the sub-decree is now in the final stages of discussion, with members of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and other authorities providing input to the legislation, according to Ngi Tayi, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The current draft has undergone eight rounds of discussion, but will reach the Cabinet of Ministers for final approval before the first half of the year is over, said Mr Tayi, who yesterday chaired an inter-ministerial session to discuss the proposed law.
The upcoming sub-decree will serve to replace a previous directive (prakas) on non-tax revenue collection, filling some of the gaps left by existing legislation.
“Right now, we only have a prakas issued by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and other ministries. We are now working on more specific regulation,” he said.
“A sub-decree is more effective than a prakas because it bears the signature of the prime minister,” Mr Tayi said, adding that the new legislation is needed because the government plans to increase public expenditure in upcoming years.
Non-tax revenue refers to government revenue from sources other than taxes, such as foreign aid, loans or revenue from state-owned enterprises.
The proposed sub-decree describes five sources of non-tax revenue: from state property, from public enterprises, from public service, from fines, and from other non-tax related activities.
Last year, non-tax revenue in Cambodia was 15 percent of total government revenue, nearly $500,000, according to Net Mony, director general of the state property and non-tax revenue department.
“Non-tax revenue collection is small, contributing only 15 percent of total revenue, but we expect a significant increase when the new sub-decree comes into effect.” Mr Mony said.
In 2018, public expenditure is forecast to reach $6.4 billion, or 18.75 percent of GDP, while government revenue is estimated to be $4.6 billion.