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Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister
Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

Businesses encouraged to honour tax obligations

Ghanaian Businesses have been encouraged to honour their tax obligations to propel economic development.

“As difficult as it must be taken in, the way forward lies in all of us, every single adult Ghanaian putting our shoulders to the wheel and pushing forward as one. Our businesses must live up to their tax obligations, as many but not all do. Our revenue authority must show greater discipline about the granting of exemptions and the plugging of the loopholes that plague the system.”

Mr Ken Ofori- Atta, Minster for Finance, made the call while presenting the Mid – Year Fiscal Policy Review of the 2018 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in Accra Today.

According to him, government will continue to intensify its efforts to stem the corruption that bleeds the country of its hard-won revenues. In that same vein, he added, “government is making a social compact with Ghanaians that every single Ghana Cedi, every single Ghana Pesewa that it takes in will be spent with only one objective in mind: the advancement of Ghana’s great future.”

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The Minister mentioned that government is making significant strides in establishing a strong and prudent macroeconomic and development agenda on a solid foundation and that the government is now well established on a sustainable growth path.

He pointed out that, “the initiatives we have undertaken are bringing greater clarity of our priorities with emphasis on spending on growth enhancing opportunities such as road and railway development and the IPEP.  Our vision is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals to ensure that every citizen obtains their fair share of the national pie.”

Mr Ofori -Atta   emphasized  that government is committed to providing the citizens of this country with true leadership  and  thus, focused on partnering with the private sector and with every well-meaning Ghanaian to revamp the economy in order to achieve sustainable growth and transformation.

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“My firm assurance to you and the entire nation is that, the Akufo Addo Government has not wavered in the commitments we made to Ghanaians. We have spent the first 18 months in Government, fulfilling the major promises we made to invest in our people;  the promise of Free SHS we have fulfilled;  the promise of restoration of teacher and nurses trainee allowances we have restored;   the promise to keep the lights on and not to return to “Dumsor” we have fulfilled;  the promise to ease the burdens of parents through the expansion of major social programs like School Feeding and LEAP, we have fulfilled;  the promise of 1D1F we have began;  the promise of 1 Constituency, US$1 million we are fulfilling; and  most importantly the promise to restore hope, dignity and confidence to all Ghanaians, we are fulfilling.”

He indicated that government is preparing major infrastructure projects in Road, Rail and Housing sectors. These will be rolled out in the second half of the year. Additionally, negotiations with Sino-hydro on an infrastructure for bauxite barter deal has been laid before this House. The first tranche shall be used to finance the construction, and/or completion of key roads in all ten (10) regions.”

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“Additionally, we hope to implement a financing strategy that will facilitate the payment of a good portion of the validated claims by the Auditor General thereby getting our contractors back on site to address the tortuous road network that our people have to painfully use.”

 

He recalled that in the 2018 Budget “we signalled Governments’ commitment to successfully conclude the existing IMF ECF programme at the end of 2018. Mr. Speaker, I’m glad to inform you that we are on course to completing the programme successfully. Ghana as a Fund member country will continue to enjoy the Funds technical assistance.”

 

By:  Mohammed Suleman

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