Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has expressed confidence of the ability of government to meet its revenue target for this year despite the challenges confronting it.
Speaking to the media in Malabo in Equatorial Guinea where he attended the Annual African Development Bank (AfDB), he said
He said government has put in place measures, which they were implementing together with on-going reforms at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), would help improve the numbers in the coming months.
Government ended the first quarter of this year mobilizing a little over ¢10 billion which is about ¢2 billion short of its ¢12 billion target for the first three months of 2019.
Mr Ofori-Atta has also indicated he would use the Mid-Year Review to adjust some of the targets while exploring other strategies to deal with the revenue challenge.
The country’s covering government fiscal operations required the Finance minister to review some of the estimates outlined in the budget to be review before July 31.
“I think we are behind in about two to three per cent, maybe six per cent of target, but, as you know, it was last week we announced three new commissioners and also rotated about a thousand people in the revenue services.
“I think we are now on course. We’ve watched this thing for 30 months, we’ve seen how it operates and we’ve brought a whole new regime and we are going to test it and push to see how the system responds,” he said.
Commenting on the changes that happened at the GRA he said: “Yes, the human factor is key, and that is why the change of the three commissioners has come about. We are about 12-and-a-half per cent of revenue to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and we really should be close to maybe 20 per cent. So if you look at an organisation that rakes in GH¢37 billion and you are 12-and-a-half per cent and you should be around 20 per cent, that is another maybe 10-odd billion that could come in.’’
“Yes, we got a couple of bankers and a military person… it’s worth trying. We’ve had people from inside for a long time and so let’s see how this works. My expectation is that it will be more targeted, more KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and more focus.
“And also they will not have any sort of traditional ties and we hope that will help them become more objective,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
Government through the finance ministry recently appointed three new commissioners to the Ghana Revenue Authority to help run affairs at the institution.
They are Banker Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Acting Commissioner for Domestic Tax Revenue Division; Colonel Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd), Acting Commissioner, Customs Division and another banker, Julie Essiam, Acting Commissioner, Support Services Division.
They are expected to drive a number of critical transformational changes at the Authority.