Business News of 2014-08-18

Gov’t asked to increase tax incentives

Prof. Kwame Boasiako Omane-Antwi, Vice Rector and Dean, Pentecost University College Graduate School ((PUCGS), has urged government to enhance tax incentives to curb tax evasion and abusive tax practices in the country.

He said government must adopt cost-effective and humane measures to encourage people to honour their tax obligations especially at the nation’s ports and bonded warehouses to boost revenue.

Prof. Omane-Antwi, who was speaking at PUCGS’s Mid-Year Review Of the 2014 Budget Statement in Accra recently, said more training must be provided to staff of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to prevent loss of revenue from dubious and fraudulent transfer pricing practices by multinational organizations.

He stressed the need to improve government’s revenue estimation techniques to reduce the effects of revenue shortfalls as a result of low tax base and high tax rates.

Touching on government deficit financing, Prof. Omane-Antwi said, “Deficit financing in itself is not necessarily bad, but any borrowing that the government undertakes must be done with clearly defined objectives.

He said the funds must also be targeted towards very clear socio-economic goals for the benefit of the nation.

Prof. Omane-Antwi said the Ghc3.2 billion supplementary budget must be linked to specific programmes, stating that the recent supplementary budget must be expended on specific projects, which have the tendency to drive economic growth and create sustainable jobs.

He said government must also improve its anti-corruption drive to boost confidence in the government and policy credibility.

Prof. Omane-Antwi urged government to adopt performance budgeting or planning-performance budgeting system, stating that “government must move to target key and prioritized projects that contribute to socio-economic growth of the country with adequate planning.”

He called for a reduction in the number of projects in the budget, explaining that the 2014 budget, like most budgets of the government, has too many projects, which by end of the budget cycle, remain uncompleted or unstarted.

“The government must move towards planning programme budgeting system so that in the face of resource constraint, the government can prioritize projects by selecting those with higher socio-economic impact that can be adequately completed in good time,” Prof. Omane- Antwi said.