By Fatoumatta K Jallow
Sidia Jatta National Assembly member for Wuli West underscored the need to invest in productive sector to generate more income rather than putting the tax burden on citizens.
Hon Jatta raised a concern over the recent ratification of a deal with the European Union for fishing in Gambian waters for a period of three years.
Jatta further asked: “How many 550,000 Euros will the Europeans generate from our waters within three years.” He pointed out that, “This is where our monies should be coming from to develop this country.”
He made these remarks on Friday 29th March 2019, at the launch of the 2019 Citizen’s Budget which was meant to hold constructive dialogue with relevant stakeholders regarding the budget process and different actors involved in the budget process.
The Law Maker said, “tax is our main source of revenue and that’s where the criticalities lie.” He further said “if we don’t have budget support we are dead.”
“We have two fundamental sectors, that is Agriculture, which fisheries is part of,” Hon Jatta asserted. He added that people have not been saying anything about the agreement between European Union with The Gambian Government, which he said is where Gambians should generate income.
According to Hon Jatta agriculture is now dormant. He said this is clearly manifested in the villages; adding “groundnut has become a liability to farmers and it is the main cash crop in this country.”
He noted that it is said that Tourism is the biggest foreign exchange earner; but he asked whether the country can rely on tourism noting that the Gambia is a bad competitor.
He said our nature reserve is dead and we have no animals in this country.