Government would have to re-consider its decision to waive import duties on mining logistics, including heavy duty equipment.
The situation, apart from undermining revenue generation for the country, has the potential to pose health hazards to the people, apart from destroying the environment.
These were some of the concerns raised by participants during a forum at a day?s sensitization workshop organized by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for the media in Kumasi.
Even though the extractive industry has enormous advantages to create employment and rake in revenue for the country, this should be weighed against the health of the people and a sustainable environment.
The goal was to expose them to the conditions, procedures and the challenges they face in line of duty so as to forge a lasting collaboration with the media to enhance their efficiency in tax collection.
It came to light during discussions that mining companies do not pay any tax on mining equipment imported into the country, until the companies are folding up, by which time the machines are old or obsolete with depreciated face value which might not attract taxes at all.
Mr. Kofi Toffah, Assistant Commissioner of Taxes and Sector Commander for the Ashanti Region, took participants through the tax procedures, the various regimes and legalities regarding their operations.
He cited logistics and under-staffing, as some of the nagging challenges confronting his outfit, but said 110 junior officers have been recruited and are currently undergoing training to help address the staff shortfall.
Mr Robert Mensah, Assistant Commissioner in charge of Public Affairs, called on all to support the Division to tackle tax evasion, and gave the assurance that they were doing their best to mobilize more revenue, as they were working with a chain of informers who provide leads for the arrest of tax evaders.