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Afghanistan: Tax Collection

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Afghan Ministry of Finance’s efforts to enhance revenue collection; and what discussions he has had with the Afghan government on the matter. (186863)

At 8 per cent. of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Afghanistan currently has one of the lowest rates of domestic revenue mobilisation in the world and the Government of Afghanistan (GoA) cannot cover its operating costs. It is essential that domestic revenue collection is prioritised in order to keep the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF) and other international aid programmes on track. Along with our American colleagues, we have stressed the importance of this issue to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), and we have all discussed with the Afghan government the need to fully and transparently collect existing taxes as well as continue reforms of the tax system to increase the number of tax payers.