The Cross River State Government has forwarded a budget review and amendment proposal of N147,130,166,996 ( One hundred and forty seven billion, one hundred and thirty million, one hundred and sixty six thousand, nine hundred and sixty six Naira ) to the Cross River State House of Assembly, this amendment is to streamline the State’s estimates of revenue and expenditures in line with current economic realities. Approximately 16% of the amended budget expenditure has been earmarked for Covid-19 response programs for relief, restructuring & recovery.
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr during a joint press briefing by the Ministry of Finance and Cross River State Internal Revenue Service on Monday at New Secretariat Complex Calabar.
He said the world is experiencing one of the worst health crisis in the last century which has lasted more than expected and has adversely affected all countries across the world. He stated that what started as an outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019 grew rapidly into a global pandemic had ultimately consolidated into a global economic crisis with it’s negative attendant effect on the GDP of the nation, unemployment and contraction of the economy.
Ekpenyong Jr said consequently the Cross River State Government led by his Excellency, Senator Prof Ben Ayade has thought it imperative to come up with economic policies and measures in order to forestall the hardship and cushion the effect of the pandemic through the budget review and amended it inline with current economic reality and has been submitted same to the Cross River State House of Assembly for their consideration, review and possible resolution.
On his part, the Executive Chairman of Cross River State Internal Revenue Service, Mr Akpanke Ogar said as part of tax reliefs and incentive package approved by the State Governor, Senator Prof Ben Ayade for mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and in order to cushion the economic effect, the State government has formulated tax relief and palliatives for businesses and individuals operating and resident in Cross River State.
According to him some of the package includes 100% abatement on PAYE “Pay As You Earn Scheme” for individuals who earn less than 100,000 Naira monthly as well as 100% abatement on levies and tax for low income earners such as Artisans, Hawkers, Okada Riders, Tricycle riders (Keke Napep), Taxi drivers, pretty shops, as well as other Micro and Small Business enterprise inline with the provisions of the Cross River State Tax Exemption Law 2015 as amended.