‘We’re ready to raise needed money for Akufo-Addo’s projects’ – New GRA boss

The Ghana Revenue Authority says it is prepared to raise the needed revenue to finance government’s projects – many of which have been described by political opponents as ambitious.

New GRA boss, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, said the Authority will adopt a mix of different strategies that will help them to increase their revenue base as well as to halt revenue leakages in the system.

He told Joy News’ Raymond Acquah Thursday the strategies will include an improved customer relations profile that will enable tax collectors to go to taxpayers rather than allowing them to come to their office.

“We want to be able to walk to the taxpayer and reduce the number of hours he has to spend interacting with us,” he said.

The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has itemized seven projects it intends to commence in 2017.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta who disclosed this when he presented government’s first budget to Parliament last week said they will raise the needed funds to finance them.

The programmes include;

(a) Establishment of the Infrastructure for poverty eradication – each constituency to receive the cedi equivalent of million dollars to combat poverty;

(b) Implementation of the one district one factory – initiating industrialisation as promised during the 2016 election campaigns;

(c) Establishment of the Zongo Development Fund to support the development of Zongo communities; 

(d) Roll out of the National Identification System to help formalise the economy;

(e) Roll out the free senior high school to ensure equal opportunities for students;

(f) Roll out the national digital addressing system;

(g) Restoration of the teachers and nursing trainee allowance;

He also announced the abolishment of eight (8) taxes including duties paid on the importation of spare parts.

Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu

Spokespersons of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have expressed skepticism about the programmes, saying they are mere charade to deceive Ghanaians.

NDC Members of Parliament (MP) led by Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu said government will not get the needed funds given the abolishment of some of taxes.

But the Revenue Authority said it will be able to raise the requisite funds for government’s programmes.

Mr Kofi Nti said he will bolster the performance of staff by rewarding those who increase their client base.

Asked how the Authority will handle workers who aid companies to evade tax, he said they are drafting a policy that will weed them out of the system.

“We are adopting a policy such that such people are weeded out of the system and we scheming out strategies to make sure we get such people on camera,” he said.

He also said they will increase the award given informants such that anyone who provides information about such arrangement will get 25 percent of the money involved.