FSM HOLDS SYMPOSIUM TO REASSESS NATION’S REVENUE

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PALIKIR, Pohnpei (Oct. 10, 2002 - FSMIS)---A Revenue Reform Symposium was held in the Federated States of Micronesia Oct. 7-11 to evaluate the nation’s revenue regime.

Hosted by the FSM’s Department of Finance and Administration, the symposium gathered in Palikir more than 50 policymakers, officials and technicians from the national and state governments for an economic overview of the FSM. The symposium expected to develop actions plans and guidelines for revenue reform.

President Leo A. Falcam’s opening message outlined the compelling need for the national and state governments to prepare a comprehensive plan to increase domestic revenue collections. He said the plan would offset the reduction in external assistance that faces the nation in fiscal year 2004 and throughout the proposed 20-year term of renewed Compact economic assistance form the U.S. Government.

Falcam challenged the participants to develop proposals that would modernize the FSM revenue system, improve the efficiency and equity of collection and support the nation’s private sector-led economic growth strategy.

The symposium recommended reform actions with a communiqué summarizing the adopted resolutions:

The symposium also recommended the establishment of a steering committee to guide the tax-reform process. This would encompass both policy and administration through a phased implementation program over the next several years.

The initial task of the proposed committee would be to consult with stakeholders in all four states and develop a taxpayer-education plan. The proposed committee would also be tasked to mobilize technical assistance from the donor community.

The resolutions would be presented to the FSM Economic Policy Implementation Council (EPIC) during its upcoming meeting on Oct. 17-18. The advisory body is comprised of the president, the four state governors, the Sseaker of FSM Congress and the presiding officers of the four state legislatures.

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