Cambodia's government yesterday announced it had chosen the largest local bank, Acleda Bank Plc, to be its partner for vehicle tax stamp sales.
Acleda will operate for the General Department of Taxation of the Ministry of Economy and Finance in all 23 provinces and Phnom Penh.
Political activists said the government needed to be more transparent and take more effective action to combat corruption before it could think of seeking increased tax revenue.
Son Chhay, a Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian, said the initiative will help the government increase its revenue from taxes and to help the department be more transparent.
“It can help the government a lot to become more transparent in its tax-collection activities, because we will be able to monitor corrupt officials who may try and sell the tax stamp,’’ he said.
“Our people trust the banking system. This will provide them with more convenience and cut down on wasted time. In addition, it can help the government increase its revenue.”
Sim Eang, royal delegate in charge of the General Department of Taxation, said in a statement that with the broadening operation coverage of Acleda bank nationwide, the department decided to choose it as its partner, to provide convenience and a smoothly working system.
“For the first time the General Department of Taxation has selected Acleda Bank Plc, to be its partner in the sale of tax stamps for the operation of all forms of transportation.
“The selection of Acleda as our partner was due to its wide branch network connected by modern telecommunications systems and its establishment in the country. The sale of the stamps from a modern commercial bank, and its system of managing information on the collection of tax-stamp sales, will be far more effective than we could otherwise implement on our own,” he said.
In Channy, president and CEO of Acleda Bank Plc, said the bank was selected by the government for handling other financial services or transactions as well.
“Acleda Bank Plc has always been highly trusted by the public institutions of Cambodia for its financial service needs and now it has been selected for their partner in this endeavour,” he said.
“This will encourage Acleda to continue to expand its network, improve service quality and equip its branches with the most advanced online electronic banking and mobile banking systems, as well as deploy ATMs throughout the country to service customers 24 hours a day and seven days a week,” he said in a statement from the bank.
Acleda has 237 branches and offices throughout Cambodia, 25 branches and offices in Laos and is preparing a subsidiary in Myanmar.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed by Channy and Eang. The General Department of Taxation will provide the tax stamps to the headquarters, branch offices, district offices and service offices of Acleda in order to sell the tax stamp to the owners of vehicles.
The government decided to sign the MoU with Acleda under a pilot scheme to use commercial banking services for its national revenue and expenditure transactions by the Ministry of Economy and Finance in 2010.
Presently, it also handles 18 provincial treasuries as well as the National Social Security Fund for Civil Servants to maintain and secure the providing of services to the retirement fund and other benefit policies from the Royal Government of Cambodia to the retirees or their authorised persons within the 24 provinces.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at [email protected]