The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) has expressed worry about the International Monetary Fund’s suggestions to the government of Ghana on revenue mobilisation under its $3 billion support programme.
According to the Chamber, should the suggestions be implemented, it will adversely affect businesses that are already burdened with numerous taxes and other unfavourable conditions.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Mark Badu-Aboagye indicated that at present, the country is undergoing some level of economic crisis.
Speaking to JoyNews, he said, “Businesses in Ghana are very ready. I told you, the last time that we conducted a research, we realised that the SMEs in Ghana are growth-oriented, which means that by giving them the opportunity they can grow to become multinationals.
However, he pointed out that, “When you introduce externalities like taxes, like high-interest rates, like levies, then you go to the bottom line and you realise that all of them are making losses, which means that, that component needs to be managed.”
On Wednesday, May 17, the IMF in a press statement announced that its Executive Board has approved a $3 billion Extended Credit Facility (ECF)—a three-year loan programme arrangement for Ghana.
They further stated that the decision of the board was to enable an immediate disbursement of about $600 million to Ghana. The Bank of Governor has since confirmed that the first $600 million will hit its account this Friday, May 19, 2023.
On the back of the approval, the IMF made some suggestions to the government of Ghana on how to boost revenue mobilisation under its $3 billion support programme.
Some of the measures they indicated as contained in the IMF’s May 2023 country report on Ghana’s request were the scrapping of tax exemptions, the adjustment of levies on fuel, and an increase in income tax.
But Mr Badu-Aboagye who disagreed with the suggestions made by IMF said “That is where my concern is, because these conditionalities will or may worsen that aspect of support that we need to give to businesses.”
Mr Badu-Aboagye further advised that, in the interest of both the country and businesses, Ghanaians should work together towards making the IMF deal a success.
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