The Chief Executive Officer of Comet Properties Limited, Nana Odeneho Kweku Kyeremateng, has asked political parties contesting this year’s election to tell Ghanaians how they intend to generate revenue to finance infrastructure development without resorting to borrowing.
He said since borrowing had become one of Ghana’s major problems, political parties must do well to come up with policies that would help the country to generate the needed revenue for development.
“Ghana after independence has never saved money but we keep borrowing every year to undertake development projects,” Nana Kyeremateng said in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra.
Outlining some ways to generate revenue, Nana Kyeremateng, who is also a tax consultant, said the tax net should be broadened to cover areas where a lot of revenue would be generated.
“We need to find a way to broaden the tax net to generate the needed revenue instead of always borrowing to fund infrastructural projects,” he said.
Ghana’s total public debt stock reached GH¢105.1 billion at the end of May 2016, representing 66.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as against GH¢104.5 billion at the end of April 2016, representing 66.3 per cent of GDP.
Out of the total debt stock, debt incurred internally was GH¢43.2 billion, representing 27.3 per cent of GDP, while the external debt stock stood at GH¢61.9 billion, representing 39.1 per cent of GDP.
Since January, this year, the country’s debt has been increasing, crossing GH¢1 billion month on month.
In January, the debt was GH¢101.1 billion and increased to GH¢102.3 billion in February.
In March, it rose to GH¢103.1 billion.
Come up with new ways
He said Ghana was losing a lot of revenue because certain sectors had not been included in the tax net.
Nana Kyeremateng mentioned the Real Estate Tax, Rent Tax and Estate Duty Tax as ways the government could broaden the tax net.
On the Real Estate Tax, he said most companies were making millions of cedis without paying any tax on the properties they sold and added, “If we can get them to also pay tax on the sale of their properties, Ghana could generate enough revenue to undertake development projects,” Nana Kyeremateng said.
Concerning the Rent tax and Estate Duty taxes, he said revenues generated from that sector could be used to support the infrastructure development at the community level as it was being done in most developed countries.
Nana Kyeremateng also suggested that every year, a tax form should be issued out to Ghanaians to enable the government to assess whether they “are paying the right tax or not”.
On the existing tax laws, he stressed the need for the government to enforce them.