Business News of Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Source: Daily Graphic
The president of the Association of Ghana industries (AGI), Nana Owusu-Afari, has appealed to the government to complete the National Identification exercise to enable the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to fully capture and track businesses in the country for taxes.
He said tax revenue was of high significant in the development drive of the country. “Unfortunately, our tax administration is still fraught with challenges,” the president said at a forum of organised by the AGI for officials of the GRA and Food and Drugs Board in Accra.
The forum formed part of the association’s Industrial Week celebration which was under the theme: ‘Accelerating Industrialisation to boost intra-Africa Trade.’
Nana Afari said an estimated one million people currently pay taxes in Ghana, although figures released by the Electoral Commission (EC) showed that about 14 million people were registered to vote in the upcoming general elections.
“Even if only half of this 14 million people will pay their taxes, then the GRA will have a lot of taxes to collect to promote the socio-economic development of this country,” he said.
He said the rebasing of the national accounts resulted in the decline of the country’s tax revenue -to-GDP ratio from 23 per cent prior to the rebasing to 13.1 per cent after the rebasing in 2010.
With the 2012 budget statement urging the Revenue Authority to expand the tax base and improve the efficiency of tax administration, the AGI President said it was necessary for government to complete the naming of streets and houses as well as other property by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies “to make it possible for GRA to trace tax payers. This will also help in the assessment and payment of property rate,” he added.
The head of Food Inspectorate Department at the FDB, Mr Ebenezer Essel, said the board had introduced an industrial support unit to give technical support to industries to enable them produce safe and quality products.
He said the unit would focus only on providing “purely technical services” for industries while putting in place systems that would ensure safe manufacturing of food products and medicine in the country.