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We need to mobilise more domestic revenue

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Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister for Information

The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says demands on the government for public services, like the construction of roads and hospitals, have seen an uptake and that one of the ways government can bring about the needed development is to mobilise more domestic revenue to enable it satisfy the legitimate needs of her people.

“Obviously, we would need to introduce some new broad-based taxes if we are to rake in the needed revenues to deliver what our people desire. New taxes may have to be imposed on items that exclude the poor and do not have high cascading effect, so that it does not increase the difficulties that the Ghanaian is going through,” he said.

Speaking to journalists in Accra yesterday, about the 2022 budget statement that will be presented to parliament on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 the information Minister said about 8 percent to 12 percent of the country’s GDP, which ideally should come to government is not coming in.

Yet, these economic activities are ongoing and are being recorded, forcing government to find ways to mobilise funds through taxes to fund the demand for roads, schools and hospitals.

As government gears up for the presentation of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in Parliament on Wednesday, there is an ongoing national conversation on how government should go about its revenue mobilisation in order to close the gaping fiscal deficit in its books.

With dwindling revenue streams attributable to the slow-down in business activities occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic, Ghana is lagging behind most of its peers within the West African sub-region, as far as the Tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio is concerned.

While Ghana is doing below 15 percent, countries in the sub-region like Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria are hovering around an average of 18 percent, raising questions on whether increasing taxes in the 2022 budget will help government shore up revenue inflows to fund developmental projects.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah assured the nation that  government’s target through the 2022 budget is to consolidate the gains made so far in previous years, reboot the economy and set it back on track.

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