Mr Emmanuel Gilbert Ohene, Coordinator of the paperless port operation project, has said the paperless port operation project has come to stay and that we all need to get acquainted with the process.
He said though the project had initial problems which caused some delays, everything is being done including the recruitment of more staff, to ensure the smooth operation of the project.
Mr Ohene, who is also a Chief Revenue officer at the Duty Drawback Export and Origin of the Custom Division, said this at a stakeholder meeting on a “Pre-budget tax consultative meeting” held in Takoradi.
The meeting, jointly organised by the Ministry of Finance and Ghana Revenue Authority and sponsored by GIZ, was attended by freight forwarders, small scale businesses, members of the association of hairdressers and beauticians among others.
It was held to enable the stakeholders interact on tax related issues in the 2017 budget statement, the economic policy of the government and other issues on tax policy and administration.
Mr Ohene said the government was committed to sustaining the project and gave the assurance that his outfit would intensify public education on the project to ensure that everyone understood it well.
He said the paperless port operation project would give Ghana the opportunity to be placed above its competitors in the sub region and also address the issue of integrity.
Dr Edward Larbi-Siaw, a Tax Policy Advisor, lauded the GIZ’s good financial governance support over the years.
He said the ultimate goal of all economic policies, whether fiscal or monetary in nature was to improve the lot of people residing in the country.
He said “considering the current status of Ghana as a lower middle income economy it limits access to concessional loans and grants from its developmental partners to support the National budget “.
Dr Larbi-Siaw called on government has to be innovative, looking inward to create more domestic tax revenue for development projects and programmes and mindful of maintaining a balance between overtaxing the private sector and economic growth.
He said the abolishment of 17 taxes and the review of existing ones is a clarion call and an opportunity for Ghanaians to help the government broaden the tax base and mobilize the necessary resources to build a better society.
“Let us encourage one another to be compliant so we all share the tax burden together and by so doing promote rapid economic growth “.
The participants who were also educated on tax policies in the 2017 budget statement, urged the GRA to intensify it’s monitoring role to ensure that all who qualified to pay taxes did so.