GRA Governing Board tasked to raise more revenue

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has tasked the new Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Governing Board to work hard to raise more revenue to meet government revenue targets.

The government in its 2017 budget had projected to raise more than GHȻ34 billion revenue from import and export duties from the country’s ports.

He said the numerous initiatives outlined by the government to create employment and boost the economy could not be realised without improved government revenue.

Mr Ofori-Atta said this in Accra yesterday when he inaugurated the new Governing Board for the GRA.

The nine-member Governing Board chaired by Mr Harry Owusu, has other members as Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ernest Akore, Millison Narh, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Col Kojo Damoah, Adelaide Ahwireng, Juliana Addo-Yobo and Major Ablorh-Quarcoo.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the government was depending on the GRA to raise the necessary revenue to finance development projects.

He said the government had “successfully put out the 2017 budget statement and economic policy,” saying one of the key pillars of the budget was revenue mobilisation.

“Domestic revenue mobilisation is the key anchor of government’s fiscal policy.  Tax revenue mobilisation has therefore increasingly become important for sustaining investments in health education, infrastructure and other key sector,” he said.

He said the government had developed a lot of initiatives to improve revenue generation, and mentioned some of reforms as tax administration reforms, transfer pricing audits, broadening of the tax base, and introduction of electronic point of sales devices to curb tax evasion.

He urged the board to also work hard to address the leakages at the ports and bad perception the public had about personnel of customs and ports, saying there are a lot fine professionals in those institutions.

Mr Ofori-Atta pledged that the Ministry of Finance would provide the board with the necessary support and backing to achieve the mandate assigned them.

The Deputy Minister of Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng urged the new board to work hard to achieve the mandate given them.

Among the mandate of GRA are to assess and collect taxes, interest and penalties on taxes due the public, promote tax compliance and education, and combat tax fraud and evasion.

The chairman of the GRA Governing Board, Mr. Owusu thanked the government for the confidence reposed in them.

He said their appointment was coming at a time when government needed more revenue to meet the country’s development challenges.

“We pledge to commit ourselves to the mandate given us,” saying “we will not fail the government”.

By Kingsley Asare

 

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