Mark Badu-Aboagye, the CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has voiced his displeasure with the 2024 budget.
He claimed that factories and companies were dejected by the tax breaks the government provided, leaving them in despair for the upcoming year.
A few steps to help Ghanaians were outlined by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday during his presentation of the 2024 Budget Statement in Parliament.
The administration has prioritized a number of reliefs, including as the continuation of the zero percent VAT rates on locally produced African prints, sanitary pads, and locally assembled cars, as well as the removal of import taxes on electric vehicles and farm equipment.
Mr. Ofori-Atta revealed the government’s intention to extend the Environmental Excise Duty to include industrial pollutants, car emissions, and plastic packaging in order to address environmental concerns.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Mr. Badu-Aboagye countered that while the aforementioned tax breaks might lower the cost of necessities like sanitary napkins, their impact would be limited since only a small number of businesses would profit from them.
“They are not going to have any significant impact on the cost of doing business in 2024 because it’s just a few selected companies that will largely benefit from that. Also looking at the proportion of those who are manufacturing sanitary pads and African prints, they are just small.
“What we were expecting was a tax relief that would have a broad base and significant impact on a larger scale of the manufacturing sector. All the things that we asked for, we didn’t see any of them being taken care of,” he said on Wednesday.
The CEO went on to outline other important goals that the budget did not meet, such as eliminating the COVID-19 Levy and lowering the E-levy rate to 0.5 percent.
“We have said that the Covid-19 Levy is counterproductive and it should be abolished totally. But it was mentioned. Also the E-levy, we have said that if they want to rake in more revenue, they have to reduce the rate to 0.5, and I think people will pay without even knowing. They need revenue, we are giving them ways that we think that they can use to rake in more revenue,” he told host Evans Mensah.
He expressed disapproval of the existing VAT system, calling for its unification and a decrease in the GetFund and NHIL taxes, but noted that nothing was done to address this.
Mr. Ofori-Atta has reassured Ghanaians that the 2024 budget will be a game changer in spite of the concerns that have been voiced.
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