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Unguarded tax incentives distorts domestic revenue mobilisation – Participants

Businesses and policy makers have committed to the domestic mobilisation agenda of the government at the just ended First Accra Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Investment Fair with a call to guard tax incentive initiatives.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the SDGs Investment Fair organised by the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in collaboration with the SDG Advisory Unit at the Presidency.

The participants of the fair made a commitment to explore innovative ways to incentivise businesses and institutional investors to take a long term approach in their investment decisions, with the public interest as a key consideration.

Presenting the communiqué, Mrs Gladys Ghartey of the United Nations Systems Unit of the Ministry of Finance said: “We commit to promoting sustainable corporate practices including the integration of environmental, social and governance practices into company reporting as appropriate.”

The communiqué said: “We know that domestic resources provide the biggest means of financing sustainable development in all its force.”

It added: “We collectively commit to ensuring that tax incentives will not be the primary determinants of our investment decisions instead, we commit to base our investment decisions on economic and commercial factors…, institutional and regulatory factors.”

The participants noted that in ensuring domestic revenue mobilisation, there was the need for government to have in place, policies that required institutions to procure products made in Ghana as a first option.

The communiqué added that a key domestic resources mobilisation mechanism will be the establishment of more local impact funds to serve not only as a base for supporting start-ups but also as a means of attracting bigger venture capital investments.

On sustainable agriculture, the communiqué said food security was essential to economic sustainability and that there was the need for the country to develop a clear country driven food security strategy.

The communiqué said: “Without adequate country driven food security strategy, there will be considerable obstacles and additional cost to global, regional and country-level economic growth.”

The communiqué pointed to the fact that businesses were willing to support institutions with the needed infrastructure for purposes of improving year-round irrigation systems and post-harvest loss management systems.

On the country’s natural resources, the communiqué said sustainable use of natural resources formed the backbone of every economy and that the participants were committed to government’s policies that aim at sustaining natural resources and the environment.

The participants of the Accra SDGs Investment Fair 2018 were made up of businesses, head of foreign institutions, and representatives of government agencies among other relevant stakeholders.

The Fair aimed at kick-starting the process of developing a systematic, green and inclusive economy by identifying the financial gaps that act as an impediment to the efficient realisation of the SDGs.

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted a set of 17 Goals to transform the world called the SDGs, to serve as a powerful inspiration for the future.

Source: GNA

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