The government fears failing to pass the new tax bills on Friday will jeopardize the country’s chances of a quick economic recovery and Board approval for an IMF bailout (IMF).
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister, is concerned that if these bills are not passed, plans to raise money to supplement domestic revenue will be thwarted.
“If we don’t do what we have to do for the country, we will have major challenges. So, this is a set of measures we must ensure is worth passing. This is a major bridge we have to cross in closing this revenue gap and ensure that there is more liquidity”, he stressed.
Three bills are currently before Parliament, with the government hoping to generate approximately GH¢4 billion per year if the bills pass.
The bills are the Income Tax Amendment Act, the Excise Duty Amendment Act, and the Growth and Sustainability Act.
Speaking on the Point of View on Citi TV, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah acknowledged that Ghana is currently in a challenging situation.
He warned of much more difficult times to come if the government’s efforts to close the domestic revenue gap continue to stall.
“We are not in a good place because we don’t have access to the international capital market. Having hard currency to service our import obligations is significantly being threatened.”
“It is important we complete all prior actions, lock up this deal and get a shore up best from the IMF and other inflow sources and do certain broad things to ensure that the economy doesn’t crash and expand investments that will bring economic inclusion. We need to do what must be done to ensure that we cement the kind of relative stability we have had in the last four to five months and gradually begin to reverse the economic challenges we have had.”
The Minister has already appealed to the Minority in Parliament and other relevant stakeholders to support the passage of the revenue bills.
“To our colleagues in the Minority, I think it is clear that we need to work together to achieve a certain objective for the country. My appeal to those in government, Minority, economic groups is that, we must ensure that these revenue bills are passed”, he urged.