All stakeholders need to resolutely keep improving the system, as well as the human aspects of their operations to achieve the envisaged 34 percent increase in revenue mobilisation for 2017, a top official has said.
The Ghana Community Network Services Limited, GCNet’s, Product Development Manager, Mr Carl Sackey said, “the revenue target the Finance Minister has set, though seemingly ambitious, is not coming from one perspective, but many factors were taken into consideration and so it is highly achievable.
“We therefore need to keep improving on whatever we’re doing; all stakeholders involved in revenue mobilisation, if this target is not to elude us.”
Speaking to Journalists at a day’s workshop in Accra, Friday, Sackey disclosed that data from the Ghana Revenue Authority indicates that the Authority has already done about 25 percent of the target.
He said improved and regular supervision will ensure that people are unable to take advantage of loopholes in the system.
“If you have a system and it’s not supervised, that system won’t be effective. It will not work well,” Sackey said adding that the GCNet works with government and so the agency expects that a lot more supervision comes in.
GCNet also will expect that action is regularly taken on its reports about discrepancies they identify in their operations.
“The system will be very effective if we subject ourselves to scrutiny,” he said adding that it is to be expected that stakeholders with the mandate to sanction wrongdoing will also up their game and punish those who cheat the system to serve as a deterrent to others.
“…when you start doing that –identifying and penalising cheats – even if sometime after the act – they will know that it doesn’t pay to cheat and so the incidence of it will go down,” Sackey said.
It will be recalled that Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, at a post budget forum organised by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) claimed that government was sure to increase revenue by about 34 percent through the reduction in tax exemptions and the plugging of loopholes.
Taxes affected by government’s measure include one percent special import levy, 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on financial services, 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on selected imported medicines that are not produced locally and 17.5 percent on domestic airline tickets.
The Finance Minister indicated the plugging of loopholes will ensure that the approximately GHS1 billion revenue loss in the tax reductions will be more than made up.
Government, in its 2017 Budget Statement targets a revenue mobilisation of GHS34 billion.
Last year, the GRA was unable to meet its GHS29 billion target.
Figures by the Revenue Authority revealed that it was able to collect about GHS27 billion representing a shortfall of about GHS1.2 billion or negative 4.9 percent.
By Emmanuel Kwablah