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Business News of Friday, 14 January 2022

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

ISSER urges government to focus on non-tax revenue mobilization

Economist and Director of ISSER, Professor Peter Quartey Economist and Director of ISSER, Professor Peter Quartey

New taxes, increase in tax rates unnecessary for revenue mobilisation – ISSER

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Economist and Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Professor Peter Quartey, is urging government to instead of introducing new taxes, find efficient ways to mobilise revenue.

He described the introduction of new taxes and increase in existing ones as unnecessary as current mode for collection is not sustainable.

“If you look at the 2022 budget, you’ll see a lot of new policies to revive revenue mobilization in terms of ensuring tax efficiency using digitalization to rake in more tax revenue. We have said this from time to time, but we don’t implement them like we should. I don’t think we should introduce new taxes. I don’t think we should increase the tax rate,” he said.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express Business Edition, Professor Quartey bemoaned the current mode for tax collection saying it was counterproductive and allows for leakages and corruption in the system.

He however wants government to find a lasting solution to the canker.

“If we’re able to take out the middleman, in other words, if we’re able to ensure that people pay straight into government chest like it’s being done through the GRA portal, and many others, we’ll reduce a lot of the corruption, the leakages in the system. Ensuring tax efficiency is one of the surest ways that government can raise revenue,” he said.

The ISSER director further underlined there were many revenue sources that government has overlooked due to its overdependence on tax-generated revenue.

These other sources he mentions are i.e., non-tax revenues that have the potential to meet the revenue demands of government if properly mobilized.

“We have also not done so well with non-tax revenue. It’s always raising taxes here and there, but there is non-tax revenue like property rates for instance. We’ve allowed the local authorities, the local government or district assemblies to mobilise this resource.

“I don’t think they have been efficient in mobilizing this resource. Perhaps the Central government should come in, either through digitalisation or other more efficient ways to ensure that we mobilise property rates and many other non-tax revenues.

“There are lots of opportunities out there for revenue mobilization. Government has SOEs that should be profit making but they’re not. A lot of them rather depend on government,” he said.