James Avedze Klutse – Finance committee Chairman
Parliament yesterday waived the tax liability on equipment and materials, corporate income taxes as well as expatriate income tax in the sum of $4,666,833.00 and GH?1,368,139.38 respectively for the smooth execution of the Mampong supply water rehabilitation and expansion project.
The project is being financed by the Government of Ghana and the Export Import Bank of the United States of America at the cost of $23,112,723.00 to enable Ghana Water Company enhance access to potable water and improve productivity of inhabitants in the catchment area.
A report of the Finance Committee, chaired by James Avedzi Klutse, indicated that the tax waiver was necessary for the smooth implementation of the project.
However, before the tax waiver was adopted, some members of the House expressed their disappointment about the materials on which government requested for tax waivers.
The materials included one-unit station wagon pipes and fittings, cement, paint, office desk, chairs, cabinets, tables, shelves, digital camera, stationary, tonner, microwave, coffee maker and utensils.
The rest were water treatment plant accessories, building and civil materials; electrical equipment, photocopier and fax machine, laptop, scanner, desktop computer and software, printer, one unit crane mounted truck, pumps, three-unit D/C pick-up and two-unit saloon cars.
The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo, could not understand why most of these materials such as paint, office desks, chairs, tables, stationary and others should be imported by the contractor and taxes on them waived by government when these items could have easily been procured in Ghana.
Dr. Akoto Osei, a former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, called for the procurement of such materials in the local market in future contractual arrangements.
By Awudu Mahama