The government says it is open to talks with the business community opposing the new tax revenue bills currently before Parliament.
It follows numerous calls from industry players for the government to drop the tax bills due to the potential impact on business operations.
However, in response to these concerns, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah stated that the government is willing to consider input aimed at amending the bills in the interests of policymakers and the business community.
“We have to contextualize the pushbacks. It is commendable that all of these groups are raising their specific challenges with these three revenue bills. I think that we must encourage them to come with these specifics and perhaps what amendments they want to see done to make it more bearable”, he said on the Point of View on Citi TV.
Government is under pressure to have three new revenue bills passed by parliament as it seeks to rake in GHS 4 billion per year to shore up revenue to fix the ailing economy and secure a Board approval for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The bills which include the Excise Tax Stamp and Excise Duty amendment bills, Income Tax amendment bill and Growth and Sustainability levy bill are already being rejected by some business groups.
The Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) among others have for instance asked Parliament not to pass these “killer taxes; bills because business risk collapsing as a result”.
Nonetheless, the government is making it clear to the business community that it must make some concessions given the difficulties facing the nation’s economy.
“At the end of the day, we have to get something as a Republic that allows us to move forward in this enterprise and see what both sides can accommodate. So that in the end, we can find some sensible middle ground that allows us to pass these three revenue bills which have already committed to the initial economic program for 2023 and close these gaps we have and go forward to conclude both the external creditors assurances and the Fund program itself as quickly as possible”, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah added.