Securing $3bn IMF support:  President signs 3 tax bills …to pave way for govt to bag GH¢4bn revenue annually

President Nana Akufo-Addo has signed into law the three new tax bills recently passed by Parliament.

The new tax bills include the Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2022; the Growth and Sustain­ability Levy Bill, 2022, and the In­come Tax Amendment Bill 2022.

According to the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the document has since been given to the Clerk of Parlia­ment to commence the necessary administrative processes.

Speaking in an interview in Accra yesterday, he noted that, the necessary transmittals was underway before the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) could commence implementation.”

The Majority in Parliament said the measure formed part of moves to raise GH¢4 billion annually in revenue.

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta said the bills were essential to its quest to secure the US$3 million bailout it was seeking from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He further explained the taxes were targeted at bolstering the sustainable generation of domes­tic revenue for the country.

The three new tax bills, which were passed under certificates of urgency, are projected to com­plement the government’s efforts to raise more than GH¢4 billion annually.

The Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, which will impose a 20 per cent tax on cigarettes and e-smok­ing devices, as well as sweetened beverages, spirits and wines, is projected to rake in about GH¢400 million annually, while the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill will generate about GH¢1.2 billion.

The Growth and Sustainability (Amendment) Bill, which will replace the National Fiscal Stabili­sation Levy that currently imposes a levy on companies operating in selected sectors, is also projected to raise about GH¢2.2 billion.

The National Fiscal Stabili­sation Levy itself replaced the National Reconstruction Levy, 2001 (Act 597) and the National Reconstruction Levy (Amend­ment) Act, 2005 (Act 687), which imposed a 1.5 per cent non-de­ductible levy on profits before tax of all companies, except rural and community banks.

The House also approved the Ghana Revenue Authority Bill, 2022.

The approval of the bills came last Friday after Mr Ofori-Atta, had moved the motions for the House to approve them.

When the Speaker put the motions to voice votes during the consideration stage and the third readings, he declared the “Ayes” to have had it.

However, his rulings on the voice votes were challenged three consecutive times by the First Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, who called for head­counts and a division.

Division is where MPs will walk out of the chamber and be called in one after another to be counted.

In spite of the high hopes of the Minority to block the approval of the bills, the outcome of the headcounts showed 137 “Ayes” and 136 “No” votes in favour of the bills


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