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Regional News Fri, 30 May 2003

Battor Fishermen in Tax Evasion

THE fishermen along the Afram lake in the Kwahu South district of the Eastern region, popularly known as the Battors, are said to be evading rates and taxes and have been attacking the Kwahu South district assembly guards who accompanied the revenue collectors to demand payment.

This was made known at the inauguration of unit committee members in some units in the district at Adawso. According to the report, the Battors have been evading taxes over the years and now that the new administration of the assembly wants to urge them to fulfil their national obligation, they see it as cheating and harassment.

They have therefore resorted to both physical and verbal confrontations with the revenue collectors.

An assembly guard told Chronicle that the fishermen and their wives have adopted a new strategy by jumping into their canoes as soon as they see the collectors and paddle into deep waters to escape the payment.

According to a source at the assembly, such behaviour will adversely affect the revenue mobilisation programme of the assembly.

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At the inauguration itself, the DCE, Mr. Raymond Osafo Djan, said the unit committee has an important role to play to assist various town and urban councils to work efficiently to govern the district.

He advised the members to live up to expectation and avoid taking the law into their own hands but work and operate within the by-laws of the assembly.

He was not happy that most people refused to avail themselves to be members of the committee and urged the people to be interested in such national duties to serve Mother Ghana.

He said it was the collective responsibility of every resident of a town or community - whether a unit committee member or not - to play a part in the development of the area.

He congratulated the members for the readiness to do a sacrificial work for their communities.

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The DCE pledged the government's desire to complete all developmental projects such as the construction of roads, schools and many others in the area and initiate some more.

The chairman for the function, Nana Adofo Konagyei, chief of Adawso, commended the government for the reconstruction of Kwahu Tafo Adawso road to open up the area and hoped that the project would continue to completion.

He appealed for various micro loans to enable farmers in the area enhance their farming activities to feed Ghana.

The chief appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to supply the people with pumping machines for irrigation farming during the dry season since they are closed to the Afram Lake. A similar function was held at Mpraeso.

Source: Chronicle