The president of the Order of Chartered Accountants of Tunisia (OECT), Walid Ben Salah indicated that the order had met with the Minister of Finance Sihem nemsia on the implementation of the reform program agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Walid Ben Salah evoked the role and importance of the order’s participation in the reform of the tax system, public finances, monetary policy and management of public enterprises. He insisted on the order’s objectivity and impartiality.
Invited on November 8, 2022 to the program “La Matinale” hosted by Myriam Belkadhi and broadcast on the radio Shems FM, Walid Ben Salah recalled that chartered accountants were at the heart of the economy and businesses because they are the guarantors of financial transparency and develop strategies and information systems. Mr. Ben Salah indicated that the priority was the development of a supplementary finance law from 2022. He explained that the economic difficulties and the lack of clarity about the forecasts of the price of the barrel and the dinar prevented the preparation of this text. He also stated that no report on the implementation of the state budget had been published since June.
” We hope that the announcement of the agreement with the IMF will kick things off… We have just announced the opening of subscriptions for a bond loan up to 350 million dinars… The Ministry of Finance must estimate the amount that will be collected. Will it be enough to cover our needs or should we switch to other mechanisms? We primarily use short-term treasury bills… This is dangerous… The danger is not from the government bond itself, but from its renewal at each maturity date… This renewal happens almost systematically… We reached an unprecedented amount of 6.3 billion dinars, while we were at 3.6 billion dinars last year “, he declared.
Walid Ben Salah revealed that the Finance Bill for 2023 will be studied by IMF teams. He explained that this institutionacted with rigidity and displayed excessive severity due to non-compliance with previous agreements. He clarified that the Finance Act for 2023 was being prepared at the level of the Ministry of Finance. The IMF will study the text to verify the degree of government commitment Bouden towards the implementation of the reforms covered by the agreement, to the value of 1.9 billion dollars.
Walid Ben Salah claimed that the order was not consulted on the drafting of a new law regarding the management of public companies. The auditors discovered the case after the publication of a press release from the IMF. He believed that the simple preparation of a legal text will not change anything. He also sent a letter to the Presidency of the Government on this subject. Mr. Ben Salah said some businesses could not continue to exist without receiving government aid. Several public enterprises, he said, are overstaffed and suffer from poor governance. He believed that the reform of these institutions required the creation of qualified boards and independent administrators. The latter could be chosen from among Tunisian state authorized accountants.
Ben Salah’s Walid argued that a comprehensive reform requires several steps, such as setting up a timetable and a dashboard. This allows the government to carry out an ongoing evaluation and present its vision for public enterprises and the Tunisian economy. The President of the Order believed that public enterprises were the property of the Tunisian people and that he understood the position of the General Union of Tunisian Workers regarding the reforms of these establishments. Mr. Ben Salah believed that the tension between the union center and the government was due to the lack of communication from Bouden. He claimed that the tax reforms will not take place through the Finance Bill 2023. This text may repeat a few measures.
” Wealth tax was mentioned in the Finance Act for 2023. However, this is the zero copy of the text. It could be changed… A tax of this kind cannot achieve fiscal solidarity. We are going to tax people who have already declared their property and proceed to their registration. On the other hand, there will be people involved in money laundering and smuggling who will not be affected by this measure. Onne realizedtherefore not tax justice… There is no estimate of the revenue from this tax… On what basis the choice of the ceiling of 3,000 dinars and the rate of 0.5% did it happen ?” he added.
Walid Ben Salah believed that the Ministry of Finance should strengthen the means of tax control and deal with cases of people guilty of tax evasion.