On the International Customs Day (ICD) on January 26, Department of Revenue and Customs (DRC) awarded the certificate of appreciation to the highest Personal Income Tax (PIT), top 10 Business Income Tax (BIT) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT) payers.

The event was celebrated in Samdrujongkhar Regional Revenue and Customs Office (RRCO) themed SMART borders for seamless trade, travel and transport. SMART stands for secure, measurable, automated, risk management-based and technology-driven.

Finance Minister Namgay Tshering, representatives from the private sector, local government officials, stakeholders, border enforcement agencies and senior custom officials from all the regional offices attended the event.

SD Eastern Bhutan Ferro Silicon’s chairman, Sonam Drukpa, was recognised as the top PIT payer in the country.

Sonam Drukpa paid Nu 21.35M PIT for the income year 2017. Apart from the certificate, he also got a duty-free access card.

BIT and CIT payers were also awarded the certificate of appreciation based on their compliance records in the late five years.

Druk Holding and Investment Limited paid the highest CIT of Nu 2.3B, followed by Druk Green Power Corporation, which paid Nu 2.17B CIT. Bhutan Power Corporation paid Nu 486M CIT. 

Among BIT payers, Lhaki Cement paid the highest BIT of Nu 52M, followed by Tashi Corporate Management and Consultancy, which paid Nu 40.2M BIT. The Bhutan Oil Distributor filed Nu 22.8M BIT for the income year 2017.

Finance minister said the event was celebrated with the custom officials, business communities and stakeholders to acknowledge and recognise their contributions to socioeconomic development of the country. “I call upon all the custom officials to continue the good work.”

Lyonpo said that SMART borders would ensure swift and smooth cross-border movement of goods and people. “Bhutan must reap the benefit of international trade.”

“As an initiative towards promoting the ease of doing business, the government is committed to introduce the modern Goods and Service Tax (GST) system, replacing the conventional sales tax and also is in the process of developing national single window initiative to ease the taxation and customs service,” lyonpo said.

Lyonpo said the government was committed to boosting the private sector. “To facilitate private sector development, we need to improve our service delivery and enhance efficiency and transparency in acquiring license and customs facilitation,” lyonpo said.

He said the new web-based system for customs administration could be developed for seamless trade, travel and transport.

DRC also awarded World Customs Organisation (WCO) merit certificates to 15 best performing customs and revenue officials in recognition of their hard work, dedication and integrity.

Joint collector from revenue division, Mindrel Zangmo, was awarded the best employee of the year 2018.

Some 87,901 individuals and businesses filed their taxes in the income year 2017, according to the performance indicator report of the DRC. CIT constituted Nu 7,311.917M, followed by Nu 1,496.719M BIT, and Nu 1,341.814M for PIT in the income year 2017.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar