By Muluken Yewondwossen
The Ministry of Revenue (MoR) has announced that it is in the process of tackling problems related to cash register machines and the
Association of Cash Register Machine and Software Suppliers says urgent solutions are needed.
The recently appointed Minister of MoR, AdanechAbebe, told Capital that they are working hard to reform their operation and
Sources at the association claim that since cash register machines came to Ethiopia over the past ten years, leaders of the former Ethiopian
Revenue and Customs Authority which has now been changed to MoR have not met with suppliers.
“About five directors were assigned in the past but we have not met with any of them. So this seems to indicate that cash register machines have
not gotten the attention needed from the organization. This is in spite of the fact that cash register machines help with collecting taxes and
standardizing the tax collection system,” one of the suppliers who asked not to be named said.
Members of the association say they submitted a proposal to the relevant body about two years ago to solve problems with the machines but they
did not get a response.
In fact, lack of communication between MoR and suppliers is seen by many to be the main cause of the problem.
We need to establish a network between our association, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and MoR to solve our problems with cash
register machines and the tax collection system, some sources argued.
They also said there needs to be better technological understanding among leaders at the revenue collection body.
They are concerned because the business is directly related to tax collection. “We are not happy about the stealing of cash register machines
and rule breaking related to them,” they expressed anxiously.
“We propose a well developed networking system and expanding the capacity of the central server in addition to installing detection
equipment on every machine to track the whereabouts of any registered machine under the MoR server,” a member of the association said.
They claimed that the government is collecting tax through the efforts of suppliers but has not given proper attention and even is not
interested in improving outdated technology.
“The technology that we are using is 10 years old, and is not used in other parts of the world. We recommend improving this technological
system,” a member of the association told Capital.
The ministry head said that her office is working to change all problems in every aspect.
Adanech says the problem needs to be solved by utilizing a variety of methods.
“We need to focus on understanding the whole problem with cash register machines before tackling the problem.”
Adanech says there are two major problems going on, technology and operators.
There is a glitch in the technology that allows for fraud and issuing illegal receipts. The problem with suppliers and MoR is the other issue
that needs addressed.
Because the cash register machines depend on modern technology the people using them need adequate training. If employees are trained
properly they can even perform minor maintenance. However, without training mistakes occur.
“In a recent study we conducted it is clear there needs to be close follow up and support with the daily operation of cash register machines
and a strong relationship with suppliers,” she added.
“We have decided to solve the problems brought up by suppliers,” she said. “So far the ministry has solved access to hard currency via
National Bank of Ethiopia to import memory for the machines, and they will work closely with others to implement the memory,” she added.
Fraud is the other issue the ministry is trying to deal with. The Minister said that currently employees at MoR are trained by a foreign consultant.
Issuing fake receipts would not be a problem if MoR was more skilled, according to her. There have been some recent improvements regarding fraud
however. She admitted that there is a problem with follow up not only with cash register machines but with other activities at MoR.
She advises that machines can’t replace mindset, however. (Capital Ethiopia)