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Business News Tue, 16 Jul 2013

NPA must abolish exploration tour recovery levies

A renowned Financial and Economic Journalist in Ghana, Mr Kwabena Adu Koranteng has called on the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to halt the collection of Exploration and Tour debt recovery levies since the purpose for which they are collected are of no relevance now.

According to Mr Adu Koranteng, the exploration levy was added to the price of refined petroleum products to allow government generates some revenue to undertake oil exploration activities in Ghana. However that mandate was taken from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) from 2001. The GNPC was then made a regulator to serve as a referee between the government of Ghana and exploration as well as producing companies . He noted that private oil companies are currently engaged in exploration and production activities with their own capital. “The money they use to undertake to explore and produce are factored in their operational cost and based on that these companies are exempted from other forms of tax such as corporate tax for some years to the detriment of ghana’s development.

“This is why some of these oil companies are exempted from corporate tax in their first one or two years of production. So if this is what is happening then the question is why do we continue collecting exploration levy? And what do we use this money for when it is clear that mandate has been taken away from GNPC and giving to the oil producing companies. This amounts to double taxation at the expense of the poor tax payer” he noted.

That mandate he said has been given to private oil exploration companies like, Kosmos, Tullow, Anadarko and the rest. GNPC’s mandate is to serve as a regulator. “This means that a regulator who is more or like a referee cannot at the same time be a player in the game. If that is so, then why are they still collecting exploration levy as a tax on petroleum products. It is an insult to the intelligence of Ghanaians. They must stop it and suspend its collection” He said.

He noted that when the tax is removed, it will help the price of fuel to reduce. He also told them to account for all collections made as a way of ensuring and promoting transparency.

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As regards to the TOR debt recovery levy, Kwabena Adu Koranteng said it is not clear how much Tor owes now, because in 2010, the Mills government said it paid all the TOR debts. Besides, TOR is currently not in effective operation so where does the money go.

How much is collected every month and how is the debt recovery levy disbursed or used? These are the questions we need to ask our leaders. They want us to pay tax and we also want them to tell us now they use taxpayer’s money in this regard.

We want them to abolish these taxes since they are irrelevant to the wellbeing of Ghanaians.

Contact Email -Koranengadu@gmail.com

Source: Nana Adu Kwabena Koranteng
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