Politics

Akufo-Addo questioned parliament over delay in passing $335 million tax exemptions – Ibrahim Ahmed [Video]

Deputy Minority Chief Whip Ibrahim Ahmed has revealed that President Akufo-Addo voiced concerns about Parliament’s delay in passing the $335 million in tax exemptions for some businesses since 2021.

According to him, the President questioned the leadership of the Minority in Parliament about their protest against the tax waiver during a closed-door meeting that sought to find a way forward.

The Banda Constituency MP said, on JoyNews’ PM Express, the NDC leadership informed President Akufo-Addo that their opposition to the tax exemptions is not to deliberately sabotage the country but to ensure due diligence is done before the waivers are given.

“When they (Finance Ministry) brought it as a package of $459 million, upon further interrogation and due diligence by Parliament, we’ve been able to bring it down by $120 million,” he indicated.

Mr. Ahmed claimed that the Finance Committee led by Kwaku Kwarteng interrogated some of the companies. “Most of the companies had understated their stated capital. When you understate your capital, it has an impact on the task waiver that you’re seeking.”

This process undertaken by the Finance Committee, the Deputy Minority Chief Whip believes, can save the country from waiving tax where it should not.

“So, meaning that if care is taken and we are able to press further, we will be able to sanitise them and scrutinise them, and get those who genuinely deserve to be given tax waivers, and those who don’t deserve to be given tax waivers,” he noted.

In 2021, the Ministry of Finance initiated processes to secure tax exemptions for 42 companies under the government’s One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative.

The Exemptions Act, 2022 (Act 1083), was presented to Parliament by the former Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, in 2022.

Mr Ahmed told Evans Mensah that Parliament’s due diligence saw the waiver drop to about $335 million from $449 million.

Among the companies awaiting these exemptions, Sentuo Oil Refinery Limited stands out with the highest requested amount of $164,633,012.00.

Meanwhile, Parliament is still yet to pass the exemptions, with the Finance Committee tasked by the Speaker to once again review the documents.

“He said the Finance Committee should go further and scrutinise and see that those companies which don’t deserve and that is exactly what the Speaker also asked Parliament to go and do. So we need to go and do further work on it,” he said.

Mr Riddims

Mr Riddims, CEO of Riddims Ghana Network who is a Blogger | Artiste Promoter | Website Designer | Radio DJ | Artiste Manager | Music Distributer etc.

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