Gov’t Will Plug Loopholes In Tax System—Ricketts-Hagan
A deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), Mr Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, has stated the government’s intention to help plug visible loopholes in the tax system in its quest to mobilise more resources for national development.
He said the government needed huge finances to support rapid infrastructural development that could put the economy on a higher growth trajectory to create more employment opportunities for the teeming youth, among others.
“Successful societies in the history of economics were and have been successful as a result of good tax policies that take a holistic approach towards the broader interest of such economies and societies,” the deputy Finance Minister has said.
He said this at a pre-budget consultative forum in Accra. The forum was organised by the Tax Policy Unit (TPU) of the MoFEP in collaboration with the German Good Finance Governance (GIZ).
It brought together representatives from the private sector, development partners, consultants and civil society organisations among other stakeholders.
A Tax Policy Advisor at the MoFEP, Dr Edward Larbi-Siaw, said the forum was meant to solicit for suggestions on how the government could mobilise more revenue to meet its growing expenditure.
He said due to the inability to mobilise more revenue and also spend within the budget, the country had had to battle with the delayed disbursement of allowances and payment for contracts awarded.
“Now, about two million of the population is paying direct taxes and this is not encouraging. If we are able to double it to even four million, delays will be a thing of the past. We expect suggestions on how to get another two million citizens to pay taxes,” he said.
Dr Larbi-Siaw noted that it was important for people to appreciate that it was only through taxes that the government could raise adequate funds to support and sustain the country’s socio-economic development agenda.
The Head of the TPU at MoFEP, Mr Anthony S. Dzadzra, said the rationale of the pre-budget forum was to give citizens the chance to make inputs into the budget before proposals were sent to Parliament.
He disclosed that the forum had now been extended to the Ashanti, Eastern and Western regions.
“There have been complaints that people make contributions but do not see it, but I will still say that it is better to have a say though it is difficult to bring every suggestion on board,” he said.
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