President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, has described the 2019 budget statement as “quite ambitious” and sets to benefit businesses and trading across the country.
And that per the various projects to be implemented next year by the government, particularly with amount of money involved it is clear there will be massive cash flow in the system to push up businesses.
For instance, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta in reading the 2019 budget statement noted that US$ 2 billion and US$ 50 will be used for infrastructure development and completion of health facilities.
Additional US$ 400 is earmarked to support agriculture sector, as well as GH¢1 billion mortgage and housing finance fund to support private sector in expanding access to housing and deepen the local mortgage and construction finance market.
Speaking in an interview with Kaakyire Ofori Ayim on “Simpieso” Dr Joseph Obeng explained that the execution of infrastructure projects has been very slow in the few years making business and commerce quite slow.
According to him, government has the strongest financial muscles and therefore rolling out the heavily-funded projects will give some financial boost to the business environment.
He however submitted that government failed to address some concerns raised by GUTA members about taxes.
The union met with government earlier on and encouraged the finance ministry to widen the tax net to capture the private sector more.
It is estimated by GRA that out of six million Ghanaians supposed who are to pay tax only 1.5 million pay taxes. More shockingly, only 200,000 pay tax at the private sector.
And in doing so, there must be incentives by government to help ensure tax compliance. He also explained that with the introduction of Common External Tariff (CET), their duties on goods have double.
Members of the association have lamented the high cost of the duty and were expecting to hear some reduction in the budget but to their disappointment, Ken Ofori Atta never coughed about it.
Ghana |Atinkaonline.com|Patrick Ofoe Nudzi