Business News of Friday, 16 July 2021
An economist, Prof Peter Quartey, has asked government to provide citizens with a detailed assessment and impact of the newly introduced taxes by government in its 2021 budget.
According to him, this is necessary to ascertain whether the taxes are achieving their intended target so as to either review them or provide further clarity.
In an interaction with the B&FT newspaper monitored by GhanaWeb, Prof Quartey said it was time for the Ministry of Finance to provide an update of the revenue generated from the taxes.
“Revenue generation is very important. It is time to evaluate the new taxes which were introduced to ascertain its impact on revenue. It is time for the ministry of finance to tell us how much revenue we have gained to see whether they are efficient taxes. If not, then we scrap it. There are too many levies on imports; are they bringing in the needed revenue or they are rather inconveniencing importers and affecting producer prices,” he submitted.
While the finance minister is expected to present a review of the mid-year budget in the coming days, the Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), wants some clarity on the country’s rising debt levels and increasing budget deficit.
Already Ghana’s budget deficit as of the end of 2020, per the 2021 budget statement, had hit 13.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product while the public debt as of March 2021 hit GH¢304.6 billion.
He stressed that: “it is important to also how far or how well we have managed our revenue situation. Are we likely to reduce our budget deficit? To what extent are we going to achieve our targeted budget deficit? Our debt to GDP is increasing. Some medium-term strategies were outlined in the budget. Are we on course in achieving them so that in the next two, three years, our debt to GDP ratio will come down to sustainable levels? Are we going to see that in the budget?
“And of course, capital expenditure is also very important. Often times, our capital expenditure is low, sometimes below 10 percent of total revenue. How much have we invested? We need to invest to generate revenue and we need to invest to enhance GDP. So how much have we invested,” Prof. Quartey quizzed.