Sihem Boughdiri Nemsia calls for the introduction of a tax on capital

The Minister of Finance and Investment Support, Sihem Boughdiri Nemsia, gave an interview to the Attessia channel on Thursday, November 3, 2022, in which she returned to the agreement recently reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the outcry of reactions , he received before he was even signed.

In response to questions from Malek Baccari and Néji Zairi, the minister began by stressing that Najla Bouden’s government was committed to the reform plan because the situation in the country when he took office left him with no other choice. She recalled that the reform program submitted to the IMF revolves around several axes, namely the compensation system, wage costs, the tax system and the reform of public institutions, insisting on the purely Tunisian nature of the proposed reforms and thus contradicting any directive imposed. by the IMF.

The negotiations were difficult and even trying. We had to convince and impose our program, it was a matter of convincing effectively and not of going through directives (…) Yes, there are demands which aim to prove to the IMF the government’s seriousness in implementing reforms and, in particular, revision of the civil service law, because we have a real gap in the legislative framework that we need to adapt to establish compliance with international standards based on competence and merit said the minister.

Our technical team is still in contact with the IMF team and the document is still being refined, especially at the level of the rewording, which is why it has not yet been revealed, nevertheless you should know that the main axes are known to all and have not changed. The procedures within the IMF itself require time, and “preliminary actions” will be initiated before the signing of the final agreement. These actions relate to the publication of the amended Finance Act and the 2023 Finance Act she continued.

Sihem Boughdiri Nemsia clarified that the content of the document, which is the subject of the preliminary agreement, does not mention the sale of public companies. ” We are in a logic of restructuring and reform and not transfer, these are strategic companies that we are linked to, there will be technical reforms that will allow these companies to secure their role and be sustainable. As for companies operating in competitive sectors, it is the role of the state that needs to be reconsidered, especially through the opening of capital and the branching of certain activities, this is the case with the RNTA. No decision has been made in this direction, these are the government’s guidelines, and nothing will be done without cooperation with our labor market partners. Regarding BH, I say it clearly, no, we shall not sell the state’s shares she added.

Regarding the reform of the compensation system, the minister believed that it is not a matter of saying that the compensation will be abolished, but that there will be a change in the targeting mechanism so that it is aimed at the citizens who really need it. .

The compensation will be sent to the classes that will benefit from it, it is a progressive regulation that will be made over four years. Subsidies are provided directly to citizens who need them, and the amount will be set in LF 2023. The citizen will not lose anything, the compensation will be gradually revised, at rates that will be carefully examined. 70% of Tunisian families will benefit from the subsidies, that is more than eight million people. The platform dedicated to grants will be open to the public from mid-November and anyone can register. Everything will be arranged according to scientific and technical criteria, the subsidy will also hit the middle class and not just the disadvantaged classes. said Sihem Boughdiri Nemssia.

She emphasized that the state’s social role is indisputable and will be preserved and strengthened. With regard to the tax system, the minister clarified that the tax reform program aims to create fairness for a better distribution of the burden. It is in this context that the minister has answered a question about the introduction of a wealth tax. She said the issue has been discussed in the National Tax Council.

Sectors will be withdrawn from the standard rate system and the tax burden will be fairly distributed (…) we proposed under the National Tax Council to introduce a tax on real estate, we are talking about tax on capital and not on profits, the idea was well received and will be discussed again at future meetings announced the minister. However, it remains to determine the tax rate and the threshold from which the tax must be applied.

Regarding the 2023 finance law, Sihem Boughdiri Nemsia clarified that priority will be given to anchoring the state’s guidelines to support the poor and the middle class through subsidies, the amount of which will be increased. ” We must all be involved in the reform, because it ultimately benefits everyone! she concluded.

MBZ

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