Dushanbe, Tajikistan, February 7, 2013 – The official launch of the World Bank financed Tajikistan Tax Administration Reform Project took place today in Dushanbe with participation of the representatives of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy and Trade, State Investment Committee and the Tax Committee of the Republic of Tajikistan and the World Bank Country Manager in Tajikistan, Marsha Olive. The representatives of the donor organizations, and business associations also took part in the launch event.
“This US$ 18 million grant will support reforms aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the tax system,” said Marsha Olive, the World Bank Country Manager in Tajikistan. “The goal is to have a more transparent, accountable, fair, and effective tax system, which will benefit local businesses and individual taxpayers. This contributes to our larger goal of improving public sector effectiveness and creating a more stable environment for private investments in Tajikistan.”
“Tax reform is a high priority of the Government of Tajikistan. Closing the tax gap and collecting revenue effectively will help us provide the fiscal space needed for investment in high quality public services to our citizens and infrastructure that will spur economic growth”, stated Odiljon Jabborov, Head of Finance Department of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Tajikistan.
The goal of the Tajikistan Tax Administration Reform Project is to improve quality of taxpayer services, enhance the level of voluntary compliance, and reduce the size of the shadow economy. By promoting an effective tax administration, the project will contribute to improved public finance management and better business environment – two key reform areas also supported by the Word Bank in Tajikistan. Various components of the project will improve institutional and operational capacity of the Tax Committee and its field offices, reduce physical interaction between tax officials and taxpayers and operate effectively in a new automated environment. Electronic kiosks will be provided in remote locations to facilitate taxpayers who wish to file electronically but do not have computer access.
“The Project will be based on World Bank’s global experience in revenue administration modernization programs, particularly in the CIS and Eastern Europe, and on the extensive analytical work conducted by the Bank in Tajikistan during the last several years”, said Munawer Khwaja, the Task Manager of the Project and World Bank Tax Reforms Coordinator. “Such programs have led to a substantial increase in tax collection and reduction in corruption cited in business surveys.”
The Tax Administration Reform Project is developed in the framework of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy for Tajikistan for 2010-2013, which emphasizes the need for removal of institutional barriers to economic growth, development of a highly competitive investment climate, and paving the way for post-crisis recovery and sustainable development.
The active portfolio of the World Bank in Tajikistan currently consists of 15 projects with a net commitment of around US$ 252.8 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in agriculture and rural development (27 percent), followed by energy (24 percent), water and sanitation (18 percent), human development – education, health and social protection (24 percent), the private sector (4 percent) and the public sector (2 percent).