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Business News of Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Source: GNA

Pentecost University holds seminar on budget review

The Pentecost University College Graduate School (PUCGS) has organised a seminar on the mid-year budget review as part of the process to contribute to national development.

The annual event aims at discussing the tax components of the National Budget Statement and also to review the effects of the taxes during the year.

Professor Kwame Boasiako Omane-Antwi, Vice Rector and Dean of PUCGS, in an address read on his behalf, said the university has a Standing Committee tasked to review tax, economic and good governance issues on yearly basis to enable members to share their professional views with students and the public.

On July 21, Mr Seth Terkper, the Finance Minister presented a mid-year review of the budget to Parliament in which he outlined the extent to which the 2015 Budget had been implemented and the short-term structural measures to be implemented in the second half of the year to consolidate the gains made.

The Vice Rector said the specific macroeconomic targets for 2015 include Overall real GDP (including oil) growth rate of 3.5 per cent, overall non-oil real gross domestic products (GDP) growth rate of 2.7 per cent, end of year inflation target of 11.5 per cent, and overall budget deficit equivalent to 6.5 per cent of GDP.

Prof Omane-Antwi said government’s measures to stabilise the economy include intensifying reporting and monitoring of foreign exchange inflows, retention and use, under the country’s laws and agreements to provide better information to the markets.

He said PUCGS is of the view that the figures presented and the current developments in the macroeconomic environment showed that the economy made some recovery in the first half of 2015 fiscal year.

“It is, however, important for the managers of the country’s economy to recognise the inherent challenges that continue to militate against sustainable growth and deal with them swiftly,” he said.

Touching on the 40 Year Development Plan, Prof Omane-Antwi said it is an excellent initiative needed to guide the country in its development efforts.

He said the plan if implemented would ensure sustainable development and called for the involvement of the citizenry.

Prof Omane-Anwti proposed the establishment of a desk at the Secretariat of National Development Planning Commission to receive contributions from the public while the final document is voted upon in a referendum.

He said the democratic governance system of two-four terms in office for presidents be changed to one term of seven years.

“We believe that this arrangement will help prosecute the 40- year Development Plan better as presidents would have a long period to be action oriented and focused on the development agenda rather than re-election plans,” he said.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Prof Cletus Dordonoo, Chief Executive Officer of ClayDord Consult, a knowledge- based group of enterprises, said the recent energy crisis is affecting the tax revenue.

Prof Dordonoo, who chaired the function, said the absence of reliable energy would increase the cost of doing business as companies would have to seek backup power and also spend money on fuel.

He said most companies in such situations tend to lay off workers as the first option to sustain their operations while payment of corporate tax suffer due to a decline in profit.

Prof Dordonoo urged government to seriously channel its focus to resolve the energy crisis, to help keep companies in business.