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General News of Thursday, 30 April 2020


What happens to NHIS when taxes are waived? – Kwesi Pratt quizzes

Managing Editor for the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, has questioned the logic behind parliament’s decision to waive taxes on donations of equipment and goods in the fight against the COVlD-19 pandemic.

Kwesi Pratt believes the timing was wrong especially at the time the revenues are needed the most for effective health delivery.

He said the government must consider the effect of revenue generation for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIS), especially during this pandemic hence the need to reconsider tax waivers.

The Speaker of Parliament recalled Members of Parliament to the chamber after postponing sitting on April 17, 2020.

This was to permit the deduction of contributions and donations towards COVID-19 as allowable expense for tax purposes and extend the due date for filing of taxes from four months to six months after the end of the basis year.

Kwesi Pratt arguing his points on Good Morning Ghana show stated, “Is it the time to strengthen the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIS)? So how do you improve NHIA and its work when taxes due to them are been waived. When contributions to its fund is been taken away.”

“…I agree with you these are not normal but this abnormality. Is this not the abnormality that dictates that we should focus attention on providing for health and all the allied agencies that contribute to promoting health?” He quizzed.

However, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Works and Housing, Eugene Boakye Antwi indicated that this development is due to the unusual development due to the pandemic.

He said, “You have to understand that these are not normal times. So I think we can make excuses for these things and come back to the drawing table after.”

Meanwhile, the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu is asking parliament to summon officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) to brief MPs on the Commission’s preparedness towards the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Speaking on the floor on parliament, the Minority Leader indicated that the EC must let the people of Ghana know of its preparedness for the elections despite the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus in the country.

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