Cambodia will surpass its fiscal revenue target for 2019 by $1 billion, Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday.
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The prime minister, speaking at a graduation ceremony at the National Institute of Education, said income from customs and excise will surpass the target set for 2019 by $700 to $800 million.
Tax revenue will surpass the original target by $400 to $500 million, he said.
Mr Hun Sen touted the increase in tax collection and said it gives the government more money to spend on public infrastructure.
The customs and excise revenue target for 2019 was already achieved in September while the tax collection target was reached last month, Mr Hun Sen noted.
“This year, income from customs and excise and tax will exceed our expectations. In total, we will exceed our fiscal revenue target by $1 billion,” Mr Hun Sen said.
The premier said the government has already committed $1 billion from national savings to public investment projects in Preah Sihanouk province and to the construction of power plants in Kandal province.
Mr Hun Sen noted that more than half of all revenue from customs and excise comes from the import of vehicles.
“In the past, car and motorcycles accounted for only 33 percent of total income from customs and excise but this year that figure has risen to 52 percent. This is because more and more Cambodians can now afford to buy a car,” Mr Hun Sen said.
He said the government is earning about $500 million per month from tax and non-tax income, noting that the country is able to save $100 to $200 million per month.
General Department of Taxation Director General Kong Vibol said in a press release last month that the rapid increase in tax collection was the result of reforms to the taxation system.
Anthony Galliano, CEO of Cambodia Investment Management, told Khmer Times last month that efforts to crackdown on smuggling, stricter law enforcement, and rising imports are all contributing to robust tax collection.
“The greatest benefit of the success of increased tax collection is that Cambodia is gaining financial independence, escaping from a donor-dependent economy,” Mr Galliano said.
“The stability and reliability of tax collection, leading to a national treasury base, will avail a foundation for social and infrastructure spending, and an increased standard of living.”
From January to September, GDT earned $2.1 billion, a $492-million increase over the same period last year. Income from the General Department of Customs and Excise rose by 35 percent to $2.3 billion.