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Minority kicks against GH¢5.5 bn tax waiver for 45 companies

The Minority in Parliament has kicked against government tax waivers to 45 companies amounting to $449,446,247 which, it said translates into GH¢5.5 billion.

According to the Minority, the list of the companies penned down for the waivers have been presented to Parliament as one-district-one-factory com­panies, and Ghana Investments Promotion Centre (GIPC) strate­gic investors.

A further 118 companies, the minority alleged were being processed at the Ministries of Trade and Industry, Finance and the Ghana Investment Promo­tion Centre to be presented to parliament for exemptions worth GH¢7 billion.

The caucus said as a coun­try in economic difficulty and which intends to raise additional GH¢11 billions in new tax mea­sures, one would have expected it to consolidate all the domestic revenue it could raise to pre­vent the economy from sinking further.

In a statement issued in Accra yesterday and signed by caucus leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Baah For­son, the minority suspects that the government wants to use tax exemption as “a new way of enriching themselves further at the expense of the state”.

“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.”

The minority served notice that it would “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”.

The caucus said it would only give its support to the 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.

This it states is in accordance with section 14(3) and section 15 of the Exemptions Act, 2022 (Act 1083).

With government seeking to rake in some GH¢11 billion from a plethora of new tax measures as outlined in the 2024 budget, the minority posited that the government was robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“The effect of these new taxes will result in the poor becoming poorer, suffocating industry and businesses and further increas­ing the hardships Ghanaians are already experiencing.”

“This government is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul by exacting taxes from Ghanaians, only to dole out huge tax exemp­tions to their cronies for kick­backs. It is for this reason that we call on all Ghanaians to join us in this fight,” the statement added.

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