Media can help raise tax contribution to GDP
The 20-22 per cent average tax contribution to GDP is a clear indicator that tax revenue is the main driver of the economy, says Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) acting commissioner general, Mr Segolo Lekau.
Speaking at the second BURS media training workshop in Gaborone on Monday, Mr Lekau said the indicator could change for the better with media contribution.
Stating that the media was critical in the advancement of BURS business, he said the fourth estate could contribute by ensuring that the right information was delivered to the public, taxpayers and potential taxpayers, through the right channels and timeously.
Mr Lekula said the media’s primary role as information providers helped people to make informed decisions and ‘in this case propelling the mandate of the revenue service and related services.’
He said in order for BURS to carry out its mandate of assessing and collecting tax revenue, it needed media support.
Mr Lekau said BURS needed the media to help deliver critical information and education about the organisation’s contribution to the broader transformation of Botswana’s economic landscape.
He explained that tax, often described as a social contract between a government and its people, its collection or remittance was largely driven by voluntary compliance.
Such compliance was also influenced by peoples’ understanding of their obligations and responsibilities, he said.
On the agenda of the two-day workshop was various areas of tax administration, the importance of paying tax and the social aspect of taxation as well as how BURS has fared over the years with respect to revenue mobilisation against set targets.
Mr Lekau revealed that BURS was currently undergoing tax administration diagnostic assessment to measure the effectiveness of its operations against international best practices.
One of the areas being assessed was the organisation's publicity, education and communications initiatives, he said.
Mr Lekau expressed the hope that BURS’ continued collaboration with the media would bear fruit by winning the support of Batswana in the drive towards voluntary tax compliance. ENDS