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Jul 21, 2018
Prophet Emmanuel Badu Kobi, has been honored with another doctorate degree award by the Confederation of Governance Assessment Institute (COGAI) in partnership with Bureau of Research on Governance, Commerce and Administration (BORGCA). The ceremony took place over the weekend in Ghana at the Bank of Ghana Auditorium of the University of Ghana, Legon. Prophet Kobi received the Pan African Prestigious Honorary Doctorate Degree Award in recognition of his prophetic ministry. Conferment by Alfred Nobel University, Pernopil State Economic University and Vinnitsya State Pedagogical University under the auspices of Ministry of Education Ukraine. Other awardees were Dr. KK Peprah and Sheik Dr Kalifu. According to the organizers, their research, assessment and selection committees have considered some selected individuals under their watch to unveil their excellent performance to the general public hence the awards. Founded by Prophet Dr Emmanuel Badu Kobi 18 years ago, Glorious Wave Church is located at Sakumono Estate, behind Cable Gold building with the mandate of changing lives of people.
Jul 21, 2018
Government’s expenses on compensation of employees have exceeded the programmed target. A total of to GH¢8,141.2 million was spent on compensations a figure which exceeded the projected target by GH¢133.9 million or 1.7 percent, of this amount, expenses on Wages and Salaries amounted to GH¢7,131.6 million, 4.1 percent higher than the programmed target of GH¢6,852.0 million and accounting for the overage in Compensation of Employees. The reason for the slippage is attributed to budget overruns recorded by the Ministries of Education and Health, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told Parliament when he presented the mid-year budget review. Meanwhile, corrective measures such as the complete roll out of the HRMIS are being employed to ensure that the excess are curtailed in the second half of the year, he assured the House. Similarly, expenses on the use of Goods and Services which amounted to GH¢1,627.0 million was about 9.0 percent higher than the programmed target. The slippage is mainly attributed to front-loaded expenditures including those for the purchase of fertilizer for the Planting for Food and Jobs programme. These overruns are not expected to recur in the second half of the year. Total expenditure (including arrears clearance) amounted to GH¢23,756 million (9.8% of GDP) and constitutes 38.3 percent of the annual 21 budget target. Although, the outturn was 3.2 percent lower than the programmed target of GH¢24,553 million, moderate slippages were observed in the Wage Bill (GH¢279.6 million) and Goods and Services (GH¢134.1 million). Interest Payment remained within the programmed target for the period but is expected to pick up, given the impact of the bond issued by government on behalf of GCB Bank on the Purchase and Assumption of UT Bank and Capital Bank. 89. Mr. Speaker, Grants to Other Government Units, comprising transfers to Statutory and Earmarked Funds such as the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), among others, remained lower than the programmed target mainly on account of lower tax revenues and reported IGF retained by MDAs. Total CAPEX, comprising Domestically Financed CAPEX and Foreign Financed CAPEX was 39.6 percent lower than target. Although Domestically Financed CAPEX was below target, it showed a stronger performance, compared to the same period in 2017 and 2016. Domestically Financed CAPEX amounted to GH¢438.4 million (or 13.1 percent of the annual target) compared to a programmed target of GH¢1,125.4 million. The Minister also announced to the House that commencement certificates amounting to about GH¢1,000 million have been issued for capital projects. He said a significant portion of programmed arrears for 2018 has been cleared compared to the programmed target. Total clearance of arrears amounted to GH¢807.4 million against a target of GH¢394.9 million. The total clearance constitutes 94.1 percent of the annual target.
Jul 21, 2018
External sector performance has improved significantly in 2017 an the overall BoP recorded a surplus of US$1,091million (+2.3% of GDP) in 2017, compared with a surplus of US$362.1million (+0.6% GDP) in 2016, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has said. The improvement largely reflected an improvement in the trade balance driven by increased crude oil and gold export receipts coupled with a decline in imports, he added. Delivering the mid-year budget review on Thursday, the sector minister told Parliamentarians that, the trade balance improved from a deficit of US$1.8 billion in 2016 to a surplus of US$1.1 billion in 2017, due to increased exports receipts by 23.5 percent and a contraction in imports by 1.8 percent. ‘’The improvement in the trade surplus translated into an improved current account balance, which combined with the significant increase in the capital and financial accounts resulted in a significant build up in international reserves. 41,’’ he said. According to him, ‘’the services and income accounts recorded net outflows during the year, which was compensated for by the transfers account as remittance inflows improved significantly. Consequently, the provisional estimates of the current account deficit improved to US$2.1 billion in 2017, compared with US$2.8 billion in 2016. The capital and financial account surplus went up by 17.9 percent, due to a significant increase in portfolio investments during the period.’’ On International Reserves, the Minister said, ‘’the Gross International Reserves at the end of December 2017 was estimated at US$7,554.8 million, from a stock position of US$6,161.8 million at the end of December 2016, representing a build-up of US$1,393.0 million. This was sufficient to provide cover for 4.3 months against 3.5 months of imports over the comparative period.’’ On Exchange rates the minister said the Ghana cedi remained stable against the major currencies, on account of improving macroeconomic fundamentals and higher foreign exchange inflows. However, the foreign exchange market witnessed some volatility in December 2017, in line with the seasonal demand pressures. 44. Cumulatively, on the interbank market, the Ghana cedi depreciated by 4.9, 12.9, and 16.2 percent against the US Dollar, British Pound Sterling and Euro, respectively, in 2017, compared to the same period in 2016, the Cedi depreciated cumulatively by 9.7 and 6.4 percent against the US Dollar and the Euro, respectively, but appreciated by 8.3 percent against the British Pound Sterling.
Jul 21, 2018
The Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has revealed that investigations conducted by authorities have exposed existing revenue leakages. According to him, in order to improve revenue performance, government will intensify tax compliance and block all the leakages. He made the remarks during the presentation of the mid-year budget review in Parliament today [Thursday]. Government he announced is rolling major initiatives to enforce existing tax laws. Tax evaders he warned are going to be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to other offenders who are depriving the state of its needed resources. ‘’… as part of efforts to improve revenue performance, we will intensify tax compliance and plug existing revenue leakages. Investigations we have undertaken show inbound leakages on goods arriving in the country, significant outstanding tax debts, abuse of suspense regime in the area of warehousing, transit trade, and free zones, and tax audit issues such as limited coverage, low auditor productivity, and low audit yields. He added ‘’…we are rolling out major initiatives to address these tax compliance issues. Mr. Speaker, these initiatives will include prosecutions of tax evaders and corrupt tax officials…’’ A ‘’special VAT Attack force to ensure enforcement and deepen VAT penetration from the current low levels of 11 percent, and institutional reforms at GRA,’’ he assured. The Minister went on to state that, ‘’Mr. Speaker, tax compliance will also be boosted by the implementation of the Common Platform for Communications Traffic Monitoring, revenue assurance, mobile money monitoring, and fraud management. The Common Platform will provide government with an accurate and comprehensive view of telecom revenues in order to verify tax compliance and to ensure the comprehensive billing and collection of all telecom-related taxes, levies, and regulatory fees.’’
Jul 21, 2018
Former Black Stars Player, Godwin Attram has expressed his views on the reasons why African footballers perform excellently when they naturalise to play for European countries but do not perform as expected when they play their respective African countries. Explaining, he said that the clear-cut reasons borders on character and honesty of players in the European environment than in their own countries. Unlike African countries, there is some form of Genuity in the European teams. Coaches assign the appropriate players to their respective matches. Coaches make their own selection without any interference which is not the case in African countries, he said. “The person who deserves to play a particular position plays. The coaches are very genuine”, he stressed. On African teams, there are some challenges as far as the players, the fans and the administration. He further explained that funs of African players hail these players at the slightest performance. This he said makes them swollen headed and when they go to a higher frond they do not tend to perform. “Instead of taking an advantage to work hard, the players have become swollen-headed. Fans make you feel that you are a champion meanwhile; you are not a champion yet. We must work to achieve. We get the push to achieve but we don’t work harder”, he emphasized. It is different in African countries considering the problems we face. Therefore, African teams fail at the world cup. He concluded that it is about the mentality of Ghanaians, players and coaches. Coaches must build one strong bond of players without favoritism. There is also the need for motivation and support for these players and coaches. By: Priscilla Obeng Asantewaa (Intern, Rainbow Radio)
Jul 21, 2018
Government will continue with the implementation of its flagship education policy, the free senior high school Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister has said. The Minister presenting the mid-year budget review to Parliament said a total of 362, 000 students in all public senior high schools are benefiting from the policy. Out of the figure, 170, 000 are day students and 244, 000 boarding students. Over GHc 899 million has been released for the implementation of the free SHS (2017-2018). In addition, sufficient allocation has been made in the 2018 budget to cover the first term of 2018, he added. The Minister also noted that, ‘’in order to address the challenges identified with the implementation of the programme, 96, 430 mono desks, 32, 000 dining hall furniture, 2,000 tables and chairs for teachers, 4, 953 bunk beds, 430 student mattresses, 51 computer lab chairs have been supplied to various senior high schools. On the Nation builders Corps programme, the Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said, the 2018 budget allocated an amount of GHc 600 million for the implementation out of which GHc 300 million has been released to take care of the initial cost of the programme. Touching on nursing training allowance, he said, an amount of GHc 311 million was allocated in the 2018 budget to pay the allowances of 68, 000 trainee nurses for the 2017/2018/2019 (first semester). He added, as at the end of June 2018, GHc 122.4 million has been released to pay 51,000 beneficiary trainees. Sufficient allocation he stated has been made to cater for some 17, 000 new entrants into various nursing training institutions. GHc177 million was also allocated for the payment of allowances for 49, 000 teacher trainees in the 41 colleges across the country out of which GHc78.5 million representing 44 percent was released to pay for the teacher trainee allowance for the second semester and each student received GHc400 per month for 4 months.
Jul 21, 2018
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has announced that government has imposed a luxury vehicle tax on vehicles with a capacity of 3.0 litres and above. Presenting the mid-year budget review to Parliament, the Finance Minister, announced that based “on the under-performance for the first five months of 2018, we will end the year with an estimated deficit of 4.9% of GDP compared to the programmed target of 4.5%, resulting in a fiscal gap of GHs870 million, unless we immediately implement some fiscal measures; intensive tax compliance measures, New revenue measures, Intensive Conversion of NHIL (2.5%) to a straight levy, Conversion of GETFund VAT rate of 2.5% to a straight levy, Imposition of luxury vehicle tax of GH¢1,000-GH¢2,000 on non-commercial vehicles with capacity of 3.0 litres and above, review of PIT to include an additional band of GH¢10,000 and above per month at a rate of 35% and downward adjustment discretionary expenditures.” Mr Ofori-Atta further noted that, efforts would be employed to help intensify tax compliance measures to make sure that they collect all taxes due the state. On the depreciation of the Ghana cedi against major currencies, he said, “The performance of the cedi in the 18 months under. In spite of all the strong fundamentals, we have seen the cedi come under pressure. This is primarily due to external pressures. In spite of the challenges, we have put the right measures in places to make sure that we have a robust economy. The cumulative rate of depreciation of the cedi from January to June 2018 is 2.4% as against 17.2% in 2012.”
Jul 21, 2018
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has allayed the fears of Ghanaians over speculated increment in Value Added Tax (VAT) from 17.5% to 21 percent. The Minister told Parliamentarians that the speculations were false and government had not planned of increasing VAT. Speculations flew in the media over a possible increment in VAT following which a cabinet was held and the president reportedly opposed the increment. But the Minority at press conference this week speculated again that the government was planning to increase VAT. The suggestion first came after Gabby Otchere-Darko posted a question on Facebook asking whether Ghanaians would accept an increment in taxes to enable government generate more revenue to develop the country. But responding the claims, the Minister posited that, it is not a matter of increasing taxes but the focus should be blocking the loopholes, ensure compliance of existing laws, ensure value for money for the expenditure government undertakes and ensure that the wealthy also pay their fair share of taxes. He added: ‘’I would like to inform the House that there would be increase in VAT.’’ Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax applied on the value added to goods and services at each stage in the production and distribution chain. It forms part of the final price the consumer pays for goods or services. Under the VAT system the normal method of accounting for the output tax due on supplies is by the issue of “tax invoices”. These invoices must by Law include details/information specified in the regulations and this includes the tax value, rate of tax and the actual amount of tax charged. This is important because it shows the amount of tax that the supplier must account for as output tax and the amount that the customer, if he is registered for VAT, may be able to claim as input tax. In certain business circumstances it is recognised that invoices are not normally issued for individual supplies and that it would be impracticable to do so. These circumstances normally apply to retailers (for example: supermarkets) who sell high volume, low value goods to customers who are themselves not registered for VAT. It is for this reason that the retail schemes have been designed. They enable certain eligible VAT registered traders to calculate the output tax due on their supplies without having to issue the normal tax invoices.
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