The Minority in Parliament claims that, despite the fact that the economy is experiencing one of the most difficult periods in its history and is on the verge of collapse, the government is accepting bribes from some corporations in order to avoid paying taxes.
According to the Minority, the government as part of their schemes to satisfy their insatiable greed, people who are used to living on the proceeds of corruption have turned their attention to tax revenue.
“The suspicion that public officers sometimes accept bribes from private businesses in order to assist them escape taxation is an old one. However, the escalation in the sheer number of companies being presented to Parliament as candidates for tax exemption under this Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government, is frightening,” a statement issued by the Ninority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson said.
He said there are about 45 companies that have been presented to Parliament as one district-one-factory companies, GIPC strategic investors, etc, to be exempted from the payment of taxes.
“In total, Government is asking Parliament to grant tax exemptions to the tune of USD449,446,247.95 for these 45 companies. That is the equivalent of over five and a half (5.5) billion Ghana cedis! “
He further alleged that there are a total of 118 companies being processed at the Ministry of Trade & Industry, Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre to be brought to Parliament for tax exemptions.
“The total value of exemptions for these 118 companies is about seven billion Ghana cedis!”
He said “It is the considered view of the Minority that these requests for tax exemptions running into several billions of Cedis, are unconscionable, inordinate and bear all the trappings of organised crime.
We in the Minority are serving notice that we shall resist these tax waiver applications fiercely! In their current forms, we shall resist each and every one of the tax waiver applications with all the tools and strategies at our disposal.
We shall give support to these requests only on condition that any company that seeks tax waiver or exemption shall cede commensurate equity stake in their investment projects or business to the State in accordance with section 14(3) and section 15 of the Exemptions Act, 2022 (Act 1083).
Ladies and gentlemen, the phenomenon of tax exemption as an avenue for corruption is a frightening development that threatens the domestic revenue reforms that the state is currently undertaking,” he lamented.
Read the full statement below
By: Rashid Obodai Provencal/Rainbowradioonline.com/Ghana