The Kingdom’s tax revenues increased by more than 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period last year.
Officials said the rise reflects an influx of new buinesses and investments. Opposition lawmakers, however, claim that the numbers are still far below what they should be.
According to data from the General Department of Taxation, the country’s total tax revenues amount to $193.01 million – up from last year by 22.9 per cent. Revenues from income tax increased by 18.51 per cent, taxes on businesses by 24.51 per cent and value-added tax (VAT) by 34.27 per cent.
Tax revenues from the telecom sector rose by 3.4 per cent, the beverage prodcution sector by 25.4 per cent, the education sector by 415.2 per cent, the oil and diesel sector by 8.5 per cent, the garment sector by 47.8 per cent, consumer products by 26.8 per cent and the real estate sector by 133.7 per cent.
Keat Chhon, minister of economy and finance, said the increased revenues were indicative of the rise in new businesses as well as the government’s stepped-up tax collection efforts.
He urged tax collection officers to keep up thier good work and to pay particular attention to hotels, questhouses, karaoke parlours, clubs and other entertainment venues.
However, Son Chhay, a Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian, noted, “We lose between $400 million and $500 million per year in taxes, so where does the money go? That is corruption.
“The increase is normal, as our economy is growing and expanding with the flow of investments and new businesses. They should be able to receive 100 per cent of taxes if tax officers didn’t engage in corruption with business tycoons who avoid paying tax to the government.”
The Asian Development Bank on Tuesday revised its 2013 outlook for Cambodia from 7 per cent growth to 7.2 per cent growth, increasing to 7.5 per cent in 2014.