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Business News of Saturday, 10 October 2015

Source: GNA

GTA recovers GHC140,000 unpaid levy

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The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has recovered unpaid tourism levy amounting to GHC140,000 from defaulting facility operators in the Ashanti Region and vowed to step up its monitoring and evaluation exercise to ensure compliance.

Mr. Abraham Tetteh, Administrator of the Tourism Development Fund, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi that, it would go to every length to make sure that “every pesewa” was accounted for and collected.

Hotel operators are required by law to collect and pay one per cent of charges on clients who patronize their facilities into the fund but some of them appear to be cheating the system.

The GTA as part of measures to prevent people from keeping for themselves, monies that legally do not belong to them, has established a Monitoring and Evaluation Team, to examine the books of facility operators to ensure compliance.

Mr. Tetteh, said so far about 70 out of the more than 150 facilities in the region had been covered.

They would make painstaking efforts to assess the accuracy of the collections and payments made by all tourist facilities, he said, pointing out that, this was necessary to generate revenue to develop the sector.

The GTA was also eager to ascertain the challenges the facilities faced in the collection of the levy and offer advice.

The Fund Administrator said their field visits to some registered and certified tourism establishments, had shown that many of the operators were reluctant to comply with the law.

“We are for now, giving all defaulters a grace period to pay all outstanding arrears, and will soon begin to apply the necessary sanctions as per the law for those who cheat the system.”

He said they would critically examine the income statement, daily cash book and records, visitors’ registration book, records of the one per cent levy collections and payments, alongside Value Added Tax (VAT) and National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) payment records.