Former Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, has described as discriminatory, the scrapping of tolls paid by head potters also known as “Kayayei” at market places.
According to him, the move is not fair especially since truck pushers, sachet water sellers among other hawkers also pay similar tolls.
The Former Minister while speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Friday, clarified that although he was not against the ‘kayayei’ toll exemption, he thinks “they [kayayei] are not the only category [of potters] and you [Finance Minister] may be using discriminatory tax approach.”
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, while presenting the 2017 budget statement to Parliament on Thursday, disclosed that government had scrapped some taxes including the kayayei market tolls.
He also announced the downward review of some taxes and levies government considered as “nuisance.”
But Mr. Terkper, told Bernard Avle on the Citi Breakfast Show that government must extend the tax relief package to cover other potters as well.
“Is it just Kayayei or does it also cover truck pushers or if you go to the north does it cover those who are riding motorbikes, tricycles which is a form of portage? So Kayayei is just one form of portage. Is the minister saying that all these are going to be eliminated or is just the use of kayayei to gain some sympathy?”
The Former Minister added that, “There are those who carry sachet water [on their heads] and risk their lives. Many of these are compelled to pay tolls because if you go to many district assemblies, market tolls are their main source of IGF [internally generated funds], apart from the district assembly common fund. So is the central government going to provide further support at a time we are also being told that the assemblies’ common fund is going to be paved for purposes of the [free] SHS?. Are you going to look at the category of all those who are in all that group and come up with a package for them or just something catchy to gain applause,” Mr. Terkper asked.
List of taxes abolished/reviewed
Below is the list of taxes either scrapped or reviewed downwards by the Akufo-Addo government.
– The 1% Special Import Levy
– Kayayei market tolls
– 17.5% VAT/NHIL on financial services
– 17.5% VAT/NHIL on selected imported medicines that are not produced locally
– 17.5% VAT/NHIL on domestic airline tickets
– Duty on imported spare parts
– 5% VAT/NHIL on Real estate sales
– Exercise duty on petroleum List of reviewed taxes
– Corporate income tax to be progressively reduced from 25% to 20% in 2018.
– Replace 17.5% of VAT/NHIL with 3% flat rate for traders
– Tax credits and other incentives for businesses that hire young graduates from tertiary institutions
– Tax incentives for young entrepreneurs
– Reduce special petroleum tax rate from 17.5% to 15%.