Economist urges government to block revenue leakages
More economists have joined in urging the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to use the 2018 budget to broaden the tax base to help accelerate economic development.
This follows calls from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, encouraging government to improve domestic revenue collection if it intends to implement major policies that will be announced in the budget. The Finance Minister is scheduled to present the 2018 budget in parliament on Wednesday.
Speaking ahead of the presentation on Citi FM’s Business Today, Economist, Adu Sarkodie observed that government can use the budget to block leakages in the tax system.
“The major concern here has been corruption and leakages in the tax system. Out of the 8 million people who are capable of paying tax, only half, which is about 4 million people pay the taxes. The rest evade or run away from paying tax. We must find a way to bring all of them into the tax net”.
Mr. Sarkodie pointed out that there are other areas that require proper supervision to avoid leakages in the system.
“I was very happy when the Vice President went to the ports and now the paperless thing is working. I understand that the revenue has increased because of the paperless, we can do more, we must not end there,” he maintained.
“We can touch on other revenue generating agencies like the tollbooth where somebody collects about 100 cedis and accounts for just 60 and the remaining 40 cedis we can’t find where it is. If we are able to block just half of the revenue leakages, we will not need to borrow,” he added.
According to him, making an effort to block the revenue leakages will be a good move since it will send a signal to revenue generating agencies to improve their performances.