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Govt imposes 17.5% Tax on petroleum products

The government has requested Parliament to approve a bill imposing a

Special Petroleum Tax of 17.5 percent on petroleum products.

Finance Minister, Seth Terkper made the request when he presented the

2015 budget to Parliament on Wednesday.

Subsequently after reading the budget for the 2015 financial year, the

Minister presented the bill to the Speaker under a certificate of

urgency.

The Speaker immediately referred the bill to the Parliament's Select

Committee on Finance for consideration.

Joy FM's Parliamentary correspondent, Elton John Brobbey says because

the bill was presented under a certificate of urgency, the bill is

expected to be passed into law by the close of day today.

The president of Ghana would be waiting to assent it when passed,

Minority MP, Mark Asibe Yeboah said.

Minority MP and member of the Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey

Yeboah has expressed serious disappointment about the 17.5 percent tax

on petroleum.

He described the tax imposition as "criminal" and vowed to "resist

with my blood".

His colleague MP for Okaikoi North, Patrick Boamah, said the decision

is proof of government's "disrespect" for Ghanaians, stressing that

the government has taken Ghanaians for granted for far too long and

should not be tolerated.

Meanwhile, the Minority Caucus has held an emergency meeting which

they plan to reject the bill, Joy FM's Parliamentary correspondent

Elton John Brobbey reports.

But the NDC Member of Parliament for Madina, Alhaji Amadu Sorogho said

the imposition is "rational", arguing it is necessary for government

to look for revenues that could easily be collected.

Weighing into the issue, Deputy Finance Minister, Madam Mona Quartey

discounted the instant effect the 17.5 percent tax imposition would

have on Ghanaians, explaining that it "would not have sharp and

immediate impact" on the citizenry.

TAX POLICY MEASURES

Earlier, Finance Minister Seth Terkper announced that Ghana's fiscal

policy for 2015 "will be driven mainly by new tax policy measures,

revenue administration reforms, improved public financial management,

expenditure rationalization, and the implementation of new debt

management strategies".

The revenue generation measures, he said, will include extension of

the National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy of 5 percent and special import

levy of 1-2 percent to 2017; VAT on Fee-based financial services; and

a 5 percent flat VAT rate on real estates; and increase the

withholding tax on Director's remuneration from 10 percent to 20

percent.

MACROECONOMIC TARGET

The specific macroeconomic targets for 2015 are as follows: Overall

real GDP (including oil) growth of 3.9 percent; non-oil real GDP

growth of 2.7 percent; end year inflation target of 11.5 percent;

overall budget deficit equivalent to 6.5 percent of GDP; and gross

international reserves of not less than 3 months of import cover of

goods and services.

EXPENDITURE RATIONALIZATION MEASURES

Some of the expenditure rationalization measures to be vigorously

pursued are: Continuation of net freeze policy on employment

(excluding education and health) and non-replacement of departing

public sector employees in overstaffed areas; full implementation of

the Electronic Salary Payment Voucher (ESPV) System; and strict

implementation of the existing price adjustment mechanisms for utility

tariffs and fuel prices.

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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