Business News of 2014-04-25

Gov’t chided over 17.5% VAT on banking services

Government has been criticized over its failure to embark on massive education of the citizenry on the new Value Added Tax Act 870 before its intended implementation.
A Senior Lecturer at the School of Business of the University of Ghana, Ibrahim Bedi, stated on TV3’s Agenda on Thursday, April 24 that government’s failure in educating the populace is what has caused the general outcry against the policy. “In research you don’t introduce a policy before you educate,” Mr Bedi said. “You educate well.”
But a Deputy Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Nii Ayi Aryeetey, who was also on the programme, assured that enough education has been planned before the implementation of the policy in June.
He admitted that government's failure to embark on education contributed to the postponement of the policy's implementation, which was originally scheduled for May 1.
“We will let the ministries explain it to staff,” Nii Ayi cited as one of the modes of education.
A meeting between officials of GRA and the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) held on Thursday was also aimed at clarifying the policy to clients of banks, especially on services that will be affected.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Institute of Bankers, Anthony Oppong, was also concerned the Ministry of Finance and GRA ignored the institute in reaching the decision.
He called for wider consultation on the half of government before the scheduled implementation.
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