After successfully implementing the Free Senior High School policy, the government has once again reiterated its commitment to ensuring that taxes that are considered nuisance on goods and services will be removed to engender a business- friendly environment in the country.
Since its inception nine months ago, the government had done away with some taxes including, the abolishing of one percent of special import levy, abolished 17.5 percent VAT, reduced Public lightening levy from Five percent to Three percent, abolished duties on the importation of spare parts among others.
The government says it will continue with its manifesto promises by ensuring further tax cuts in the 2018 budget statement which is being prepared and expected to be read in November this year.
Speaking to the media recently after a 2018 budget consultative meeting in Accra, a deputy Minister for Finance Hon. Kweku Kwarteng assured that government will deliver on all the tax promises in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Manifesto.
“We provided some tax relieves in the 2017 budget, we will do some more in the 2018 budget statement. We will deliver on all the tax measures we promised them in our manifesto and in the 2017 budget,” Mr Kwarteng assured.
Mr Kwarteng added in as much as government is committed fulfilling these promises in other to bring relief to Ghanaians, “we should be careful to manage these tax measures in such a way that it will not collapse the economy.”
Mr Kwarteng continued, “We are careful to manage this in such a way that ultimately, it will strengthen the economy rather than weaken it. So we ask stakeholders to exercise patience. Is seems to me that even though this government’s strategy is to continue abolishing nuisance taxes and taxes that turn to be counter productive.., still; they will want us to do more and we will continue to do more.”
Regarding the stakeholders consultative meeting, which was themed “Strengthening Partnership for Economic Growth and Development’ Kwarteng intimated that the government does not read the budget for itself but for businesses and Ghanaians and therefore its is important that before the budget is put together “we convene this kind of consultation with representatives and stakeholders. So that we prepare the budget bearing in mind the things that are of immediate concern to them.”
The deputy minister added that such pre- budget engagement allows the government to communicate some of the ideas it has for the upcoming budget and for it to be enriched by the stakeholders.
The Budget statement, he said, will be prepared and presented to Parliament in November to take effect from the first of January 2018.
The stakeholder meeting brought together members from the civil society fraternity, private sector operators, and religious bodies the media among other interest groups.
By Mohammed Suleman