Government urged to adopt measures to raise adequate revenue

Professor Newman Kwadwo Kusi, Executive Director, Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), has advised Government to consider the use of the Driver Licensing and Vehicle Authority to bring scores of commercial drivers in the informal sector into the tax net. 

He said a policy should be developed to make vehicle owners and commercial drivers to present their income tax certificates as a requirement for registering their vehicles and renewing their driving licenses. 

Prof Kusi was speaking at IFS’s Pre-2018 Budget Forum in Accra on the theme: “Mobilizing Revenue to Support Ghana’s Development.”

He said the idea was to motivate and encourage vehicle owners and commercial drivers to pay income tax.

“Property and rent taxes also have the capacity to enhance domestic (local) revenue mobilization,” he added. 

He said for this reason, the Lands Valuation Authority has to make sure that the market value of all lands, houses, and other landed properties were determined at all times to support efficient property and rent tax mobilization. 

The Executive Director said as a matter of urgency, the National Identification Project should be finalized and called on government to mobilize adequate Domestic Revenue to Support Economic Growth and Stability.

He said credible tax regimes revolve around reliable database which in turn makes strategic revenue mobilization successful and Government should also complete the Street Naming and Property Addresses Project on time. 

“These two national projects are very critical for efficient revenue mobilization, vibrant banking industry and development in general,” he said.

He said there were some practices in Ghana’s budget preparation, which undermined the credibility of the budget and made it difficult to know the true size of revenue and expenditures. 

He said Government’s commitment to align its expenditure with revenue and chart a path of fiscal and debt sustainability was to be commended.

Dr John Kwabena Kwakye, Director of Research, IFS, urged Government to transform the economy to strengthen the external position and support exchange rate stability.

He said Ghana’s external position has strengthened and the exchange rate has been relatively stable only recently, but long-term vulnerabilities remained.

He said sustaining these gains required policies to add value to export products and diversify the economy so as to increase export earnings and reduce import demand.

“We expect the 2018 budget to outline in concrete terms measures to transform the economy so as to bring lasting sanity to our foreign exchange system,” he added.

He called on Government to revamp the Non-oil Sector to accelerate Medium- to Long-term Growth and Job Creation.

Dr Kwakye said Government should be able to do better than this if the right policies were pursued to revamp the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

“Adopt a Multi-faceted Approach to Fighting Inflation,” he said

He said the inflation was low recently but still above Bank of Ghana’s medium-term target and desired single-digit level.

The Director of Research said to keep inflation permanently under control required policies to tackle both the demand and supply determinants.

Source: GNA

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