The government collected some $3.061 billion in revenue from customs duties and taxation during the first seven months of this year, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The prime minister was speaking during a live broadcast on August 1, following the launch of the Kingdom’s vaccination drive for children aged 12-17.
He said tax and customs revenue amounted to $1.716 billion and $1.345 billion, equivalent to 76.55 per cent and 56.90 per cent of their respective plans.
“We have five months left, and are set to collect at least another $2 billion, so in a year we’ll reap in about $5 billion. On average we raise about $400 million per month,” he said.
Even though revenue has declined, the prime minister pointed out that the Kingdom has $3 billion in reserve funds accumulated before the onset of Covid-19, and stressed that the government is in no danger of bankruptcy, or as he so colourfully put it, not a “perforated basket”.
“We acknowledge that we’ve spent a third of it so far, or more than $1 billion. Now we have about $2 billion left, without counting the $20 billion in foreign reserves, or dozens of tonnes of gold reserves,” Hun Sen said.
He noted that part of the proceeds would be used to fund the Covid-19 vaccine rollout and development projects, with a focus on road and electricity infrastructure, such as the massive ongoing road infrastructure projects in Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap provinces.
He added that civil servants did not receive a raise in salary, but were paid their usual wages, as well as their incentives for the Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben Festival.
Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) secretary-general Ken Loo told The Post last month that the textile and apparel market is an ever-growing market buoyed by booming population growth and increasing per-capita wealth.
Of note, he said, the retail market has driven a change from a mass production system, to what he called a “small batch, short life-cycle, fast fashion” set-up, through consumer pressure, influence from the burgeoning online shopping culture, and more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This year we are lucky to receive some orders shifted from Myanmar. We should have grown bigger if there hadn’t been a February 20 community outbreak,” Loo said.
In 2020, the Kingdom’s exports reached $17.21537 billion, up 16.72 per cent year-on-year from $14.74874 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said in its 2020 annual performance report.