Tigray of Ethiopia collects close to $130 million tax

Finance

Tigray region of Ethiopia has collected 3.7 billion birr (about $130 million) tax during the first nine months of current Ethiopian fiscal year started July 8, 2018.

The amount collected from over 180,000 tax payers has increased by 6 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Asefu Lilay, Director Revenue Authority of Tigray region. She stated that the authority has achieved 74 percent of its target for the period. Out of the total tax payers, 11,180 are within the Value Added Tax (VAT) tax payers category.



The target of the region for the whole year is 4.9 billion birr (about $172). The director indicated that the authority plant to collect 1.2 billion birr (about $42 million) tax this month and in the coming two months. The authority has fined 74 business people in the region each with 50,000 birr for causing problem during tax collection, according to the state owned Ethiopian News Agency report.

With an estimated area of 80,000 square kilometres, Tigray is located at the northern tip of the country. Tigray region consists of 4 administrative zones, one special zone, 35 woredas and 74 towns. The region shares common borders with Eritrea in the north, the State of Afar in the east, the State of Amhara in the south, and the Republic of the Sudan in the west.

Tigray’s population size was 3,136,267 of which 1,542,165 were males and 1,594,102 were females, according the 1994 Census. Offcial ethiopian government portal states that the urban residents of the region number 468, 478 and its rural residents 2,667,789. In terms of religion 95.5% of the population are Orthodox Christians, 4.1% and 0.4% are Muslims and Catholics respectively. Regarding ethnic composition, 94.98% are Tigraway, 2.6% Amhara, 0.7% Erob and 0.05% Kunama. Tigrigna is the working language of Tigray region.

Economy
About 83% of the population are farmers. Teff, wheat, and barely are the main crops. Other agricultural products include beans, lentils, onions, and potatoes. Irrigation and terrace farming are used on the steep slopes.

The region is also known for its export items of cotton, incense, sesame and minerals. 1.5 million hectares of land in the region is cultivable, of which one million hectares is being cultivated, while 420,877 hectares of land is terraced. Handicraft (gold smith, painting and wood sculptures) is another area of activity observed in the historic cities of Tigray region.