An international workshop on transparency and information exchange is underway in Yaounde. Taxation stakeholders in Cameroon and from some ten other African countries are currently learning strategies through which they can ensure transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. Target is arming themselves with what is needed to curb fiscal fraud detrimental to the country’s socio-economic development.
A four-day international workshop, code-named, “Global Forum’s Seminar on Transparency and Exchange of Information For Tax Purposes,” jointly organised by Cameroon’s Directorate General of Taxation and the Global Forum went underway in Yaounde yesterday April 7 under the chairmanship of the Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey said fiscal fraud constitutes a serious threat to economic development as tax evasion compromises the mobilisation of needed funds to keep the economy going. Adhering to the Global Forum in 2012, he said, Cameroon now stands a chance of benefitting from existing standards on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. The standards make provision for the existence of mechanisms for exchange of information upon request, availability of reliable information (in particular bank, ownership, identity and accounting information) and powers to obtain and provide such information in response to a specific request in a timely manner. It also ensures the respect for safeguards and limitations and strict confidentiality rules for information exchanged. “The fact that Cameroon is part of this forum is already a strong record given that globalisation makes provision for countries to develop trade among themselves worldwide. We want to make sure that what we are doing here is not only supported by national legislations but by also using possibilities with support from international organisations to fight against fiscal fraud and to ensure that revenue collected is really invested in the development of our economy,” the Minister said.
Like him, the representative of the Secretariat of Global Forum, Gwenaelle Le Coustumer, lauded Cameroon’s initiative to adhere to the Forum, stating that the country has a lot to gain from it.