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Haiti - Economy : Income from smuggling and taxes to fill the coffers
24/05/2012 08:40:42

Haiti - Economy : Income from smuggling and taxes to fill the coffers
The Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe, intends to recover tax revenues from smuggling and wants to multiply by 3 the number of tax payers to replenish the coffers almost empty of the state. Laurent Lamothe explained that "...smuggling is the second plague in the country. The state loses each year, between 300 and 500 million [in loss of tax revenue] [...] instructions were passed to all authorities to take all measures at first, so they are able to take action against smugglers and people who steal the state, because if you look, with $500 million [...] We could build roads, the National Palace, schools ... A national school costs about $300,000 and we lose $500 million per year... You see how many clinics we could do, how many professional schools, how many young people could be trained [...] We will not tolerate smuggling, we will fight against it, we will do everything we are able, we will put the state apparatus in motion and we will strengthen the customs, all devices of perceptions. Customs will strengthen, will strengthen the DGI for Haiti to take off [...]

One of the biggest problems we had at the state level, it is a lack of resources and each time, we were obliged to seek international partners to come up with ways to help us, while at Customs, we lose millions of dollars... In the coming days, measures will be introduced to strengthen customs control. I also ask the police, on the border issue, to take steps to strengthen the checkpoints, for Haiti is a country that takes care of him.

[...] We will put in place a plan to cut smuggling and put pressure on those who smuggle and steal the population. Now there's a new dynamic in Haiti, a new leadership, a new government Martelly-Lamothe taking it very seriously [...]

The second thing is a question of taxation. We collect $ 425 million, representing 3% of people who pay taxes. We would like to triple that number of people, broaden the base of people who pay taxes, so that more people can contribute also to the new Haiti we want to create, because this will take resources and sustainable means. This is not a sudden, that we want to do, but a change in a comprehensive manner. If we can get for example triple the number of people who pay taxes, this does not mean that revenues are tripled, but it will be more than what we perceive today and it will remove Haiti of its continued dependence [...]

We want to work, but at the same time, we must work with a vision so that we can stand on our own feet in the coming years and we think that it is with good customs control and a good tax audit [...] for example, at customs level changes have been made ​​at the Directorate General of Customs, there are changes that are also done at entry points, systems technology, of of support so that two things be done : one, for there are more controls, two, to make it faster."

Even if the Dominican government do not give figures on the tax losses caused by smuggling, many analysts believe that $300 million a year is a realistic figure.

At the same time he announced the creation of a commission to fight against smuggling, composed of representatives of the Central Financial Intelligence Unit (UCREF), Unit for the Fight against Corruption (ULCC), the Brigade Financial Affairs (BAF), the Prosecutor of Port-au-Prince and the Police.

S/ HaitiLibre

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