Government deepens engagement with private sector to accelerate development

Ken Ofori-Atta – Minister of Finance

The government has deepened collaboration with the private sector to accelerate economic recovery and support Ghana’s goal for sustainable development.

This came to light when the Ghana Investment Promotion Authority (GIPC) used its third Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) breakfast meeting to discuss issues affecting businesses and suggest solutions to them.

At the meeting Mr Ken Ofori-Atta Minister of Finance, representatives from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) responded to issues raised by business operators.

In an interview after the event, Mr Ofori-Atta said the government had made “strong progress” with the implementation of the Post COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PC-PEG).

The US$3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) assisted PC-PEG is aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability and to lay the foundation for a stronger and more inclusive growth.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the effective and accelerated realisation of the goals of the programme would require a strong private sector to create the transformation and sustainability.

“This is the beginning of important conversations as to what to do in the environment to make it more business friendly, and we’ll continue with these engagements going forward,” he said.

Mr Yofi Grant, the CEO of GIPC, said the CEOs breakfast meeting was critical in forging stronger partnerships between public and private sector players to raise investment capital to support economic transformation.

“We’ll also have another forum to engage the public sector and this is to ensure that we’ve a public sector that’s supportive, efficient and enables the private sector to grow,” Mr Grant said.

In addition to the breakfast meeting, there would be the Mutual Prosperity Dialogues, he said would be the core structure to formalise the partnership between public and private sector in the investment space.

At the meeting, private business operators from various sectors of the economy lauded the initiative and called for efforts to sustain it.

They, however, noted that the nature of some tax handles, including the Value Added Tax (VAT), and port clearance, inflated their operational cost, making them transfer it to consumers.

Taking turns to contribute to discussions at the meeting, they urged the government to streamline various tax handles and remove those that had outlived their relevance, including the COVID-19 levy.

The private sector players also urged the government to ensure that digital revenue collection systems did not lead to “double taxation,” and review various tax handles to make them “more business friendly.”

To engender stronger collaboration between public and private sector for the delivery of more efficient services to the people, the government introduced the Public Private Partnership Act, 2020 (Act 1039).

The Act was to guide the implementation of the provision of infrastructure and services, and establish institutional arrangements for the regulation of public-private partnerships.

It was to also create an environment and framework to enable private parties to participate in partnership projects and offer value for money to the public sector and users of the partnership projects.

Source: GNA

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