Christopher Dapaah, Project Coordinator, Tax Justice Coalition, has recommended that Ghana should start reducing some of the exemptions package given to corporate organisations under the excuse of attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), which has not benefited the nation.
According to him, the country’s oil finds in addition to other resources and capacities as well as the peaceful democratic system should serve as bargaining points for the nation to attract.
“Ghana is of age now, and we should be able to reduce some of the incentives and exemptions in the previous excuse of attracting foreign directive investments. Now, we have oil in addition to other resources and additional capacities as well as peaceful government system should be our bargaining point for us to be able to get investors and not only incentive and exemptions.”
Mr Dapaah made the recommendation when the Tax Justice Coalition- Ghana engaged the Parliamentary Press Corps on Ghana’s Exemption Bill, 2022 in Accra.
The seminar, which was on theme: “Sustainable financing of Ghana’s Development: Domestic revenue mobilisation and the Exemptions Bill in Ghana,” is intended to promote the passage of the Exemptions bill in Ghana.
The Exemptions Bill is a bill proposed by government through the Ministry of Finance to bring all incentives, exemptions, reliefs, and other tax regime under one umbrella or single coordinating point to ensure effective monitoring and better oversight of all the incentives and exemptions regimes that has been granted.
Mr Dapaah explained that currently, there was no uniform exemptions policy giving room for both Parliament and Ministers to grant some exemptions as well as the Presidency.
He said, “The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), which is supposed to coordinate the process, found it a bit difficult because sometimes, the information is not readily available to them to even track them to ensure effective implementation of the incentives and exemptions.”
Mr Dapaah explained that there were clauses within the Bill that mandated the Minister of Finance to report periodically in details on all the exemptions and incentives granted to be able to do cost benefit analysis and ensure accountability and the efficient use of that policy.
The Tax Justice Coalition, he explained, supported the Exemptions Bill because they considered it a good policy and would advocate for it to be passed as early as possible. “If we use it judiciously, it will be able to potentially increase domestic revenue.
The possible loss of revenue that is coming through the shadows that are within exemptions regimes would be reduced or taken off so as the illicit financial flows and other abuses of these regimes will also be reduced.
“In so doing, there is the likelihood that Ghana may generate a little more revenue from these incentives within,” he added. – GNA