Politics

Minority accuses government of giving GH¢5.5bn worth of tax exemption to 47 companies

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The Minority in Parliament is accusing the government of handing out an estimated GH¢5.5 billion worth of tax exemption to New Patriotic Party (NPP) affiliated companies under the One District One Factory initiative (1D1F).
Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, disclosed details of a government request before the Finance Committee for the granting of this $449 million worth of tax exemptions to 47 companies.
“This government has presented a number of memoranda through Parliament to the Finance Committee, of which 47 companies under One District One Factory, one is given tax exemptions worth $449 million equivalent to 5.5 billion Ghana cedis,” he claimed.
According to him, the tax exemption cannot pass and they have decided to vote against it if it is put before the House.
Indeed, at the committee level, where the process of considering this particular request has been stalled, the minority insists that it is a primary condition for agreeing with the government to pass the budget once it comes up for debate.
“Our position is we will never have a conversation on these new taxes until they have withdrawn all of these tax exemptions because it’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul. They’re asking you to pay these taxes. But in the end, they are taking your taxes and giving it to cronies of this administration,” he alleged.
The Ajumako Enyan Esiam MP has vowed to publish the names of the 47 companies currently before Parliament for tax exemptions.
“So I can assure you that some of the companies they are giving exemptions to, they claim that they have items at the port and they will need to clear them for them to be able to finish their factory. We did background checks, and the items have already been cleared and the factory has already been completed. So it is a scam, the whole system is a scam. I call it the new kickback. That’s what I call it because you see what is going on under that tax exemption regime is something we need to give some public attention to. It is just not right.
“Today, Ghana is struggling to raise $600 million from the IMF in the second review. The money is here. The money is in this economy, but you are giving tax exemptions worth $459 million dollars to ordinary businesses that are closer to the government. So what are we doing?” he asked.
In this regard, he believes that the government doesn’t need new taxes. This, he explained is because government wouldn’t give out tax exemptions to companies affiliated with the government, if they actively require revenue.

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