Revenue at the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) saw a significant increase during the first nine months of the year, growing by 35 percent over the corresponding period last year, GDCE’s director said last week.
From January to September, the department collected almost $2.4 billion in revenue, the equivalent of 106 percent of the government’s target for the whole year, Kun Nhem, GDCE director-general, announced during a meeting on Wednesday.
He said the rapid growth in revenue is the result of the country’s robust economic performance and stable political situation.
Reforms implemented by GDCE that have strengthened the body’s internal governance and increasing awareness from payers regarding their tax obligations have also contributed to this growth, he said.
“The main factor backing this increase is the country’s political stability which ensures trade, investment, production, and consumption growth,” he said.
Mr Nhem called on GDCE officials to double their efforts to make tax collection more efficient by working with more professionalism and responsibility.
According to GDCE, the main sources of revenue were imports of vehicles and machinery (52 percent of total revenue), energy and petroleum (17 percent), and construction materials.
Speaking during a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh early this month, Prime Minister Hun Sen said money collected by GDCE will be spent on public investment in priority sectors.
“Every month, we earn about $500 million and spend about $300 million. This means we are saving about $200 million a month. This money is used for public investment so that we don’t have to rely on foreign governments,” said Mr Hun Sen.
He said the government’s goal for customs and excise revenue for 2019, outlined in the proposed budget for the year, has been achieved three months ahead of schedule. He added that he expects GDCE to collect $800 million over the official goal by the end of the year.