THIS IS REALLY A BUDGET OF HOPE INDEED - EDITORIAL BY MICHAEL OFOSU-AFRIYIE, KUMASI
Published: 03 March 2017
Last Updated: 03 March 2017
03 Mar 2017
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta the Finance Minister
Last Thursday, the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta stormed parliament to fulfil the constitutional mandate imposed on him to present the fiscal policy of government for the year 2017.
This statement, is aimed at explaining the programs, plans and policies of the ruling government so as to help parliament and the public gauge the direction the new government wants to move in terms of ensuring economic growth and development.
Not wanting to bore you with more figures about the presentation of the Finance Minister, we at G.O want to simplify the matters as laid out last Thursday as we take time to give highlights of the presentation from this edition and subsequent ones.
This year's budget, unlike others which have been delivered by previous governments were less on the imposition of new levies and taxes.
But rather, the budget sought to review tax rates and levies as well as reviewed many taxes which the president had occasionally described as nuisances.
No wonder, the Minister announced the abolishment of many of those in the category of nuisances.
These included the removal of the 17 percent levies on banking services, the removal of import duties at the ports and removal of levies on kayayes (head-porters).
Remarkably, there were reduction on petroleum levies which initially stood at 17.5 to 15 percent.
The Ghana stock exchange VAT rate will also see a dramatic reduction from the current 17percent to a lowly 3percent flat rate.
Dwelling on these few reductions and removals of levies that came to mind readily, the local manufacturer can now have a huge relief in importing implements and equipment to play its rightful role in the economy of the country.
Interestingly, the mention of the removal of tax on spare parts is what would trigger industrial growth since many would now be able to get access to parts of machines they use to operate.
Indeed, this is a budget which offers hope and we believe all will rally behind the government to paddle the boat of Ghana to the city of hope!
Michael Ofosu-Afriyie, Kumasi