Parliament has approved a request for tax waivers amounting to GHS41 million for four state institutions.
The Ghana Immigration Service sought GHS 841,000 in tax waivers on weapons, the Ministry of Regional Re-Organisation sought GHS708,000 in waivers for vehicles to be procured for the six new regions, the Metro Mass Transit Company sought GHS14 million in tax waivers to procure 150 new buses and the State Transport Company sought a GHS25 million waiver for the procurement of vehicles.
The Finance Committee in Parliament recommended the granting of these waivers.
The committee’s chairman, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah said: “considering the enormous benefits to be derived from all the aforementioned, the committee is of the view that the requests are in the right direction”.
A Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, however, argued that the incentives that institutions such as the Metro Mass Transit Company and the State Transport Company enjoy should be tied to the level of productivity of these companies.
“I believe that going forward, we should have the opportunity to get a brief from the Metro Mass Transit and the InterCity STC company for them to be able to account to us for how much we have given to them and how it has been utilised and how it is reflecting in their operations.”
In addition to these concerns, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is working to review Ghana’s tax exemption laws to address revenue losses.
The GRA’s plan is to “minimise the number of exemptions that are granted” over concerns that wholesale exemptions have resulted in the exploitation of the country.
The Finance Minister has noted that experts have been contracted to work with the GRA to conduct forensic audits of companies in priority sectors and undertake audits of multinational enterprises in this regard.