General News of Saturday, 13 October 2012
Source: dennis keelson
*For certified true copies of tax returns & asset declarations
In fulfillment of making his tax returns and asset declarations open to the Ghanaian public even before he files to become a presidential candidate, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom has taken steps towards fulfilling that promise.
Speaking to Today in an exclusive interview from the United States of America, Dr. Nduom, who is the flag bearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), disclosed that he has ‘officially’ written to the Internal Revenue Authority (IRA) under the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and asked them to provide him with certified true copies of his tax returns.
The PPP presidential candidate told Today that he officially performed this task last week.
“In addition I have also written to the office of the Auditor-General to give me certified true copies of my asset declarations,” Dr. Nduom further disclosed.
According to the PPP flag bearer, fulfilling this promise of declaring his income tax returns and asset declarations was to enable Ghanaians examine the various presidential candidates and their ability to fight corruption which has become endemic in the country.
Dr. Nduom went on to say that fighting corruption in the country will take personal commitments, adding that “everybody who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) and Minister of State such as Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Mahama should declare their tax returns and asset declarations for public examination.”
While agreeing that the law makes it clear for every contesting presidential candidate and parliamentary candidate to file for his/her tax returns and asset declarations, he however explained that that was not enough.
“…The law says that persons seeking national positions should file for their tax returns and asset declarations, but that is done under lock and key.”
The essence of presidential candidates making this information public, Dr. Nduom stressed, will allow Ghanaians to become ‘better informed and the better judges’ of the candidates who are seeking for the highest office of the land, especially where corruption has become pervasive in the country.
“…In fact, I am not asking them to file for their tax returns and asset declarations what I am saying is that they should make public their asset declarations and tax returns filed at the office of the IRS and the Auditor-General. And I also know that every Ghanaian is required by law to file his/her tax returns—the fact that you have filed does not mean that you have disclosed everything. And that is the essence for my call for the various presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns and assets for the Ghanaian public to examine and be the judges.”
This move, Dr. Nduom affirmed, is not in any way pointing accusing fingers at anybody but towards ensuring “transparency and accountability.”
He added that this was necessary because this is a “whole new chapter in Ghanaian politics.”
“The fact of the matter is that we are in a different era. Judgments debts, settlement debts are having huge adverse impact on our economy and everybody knows about corruption. So it is an important issue,” Dr. Nduom insisted.
The PPP standard bearer further indicated that “we will be setting the bar very high when we make public our tax returns and assets declarations.”
In the estimation of Dr. Nduom, Ghana can achieve a lot if corruption and bribery is taken away.
“…We can build dual carriage roads, new power plants and the things that we are looking for with GH¢3billion,” he asserted.