Parliament has approved a total of the cedi equivalent of twenty four million, one hundred and seventy four thousand and four hundred and thirty-seven euros (€24,174,437.00) tax waiver on materials, equipment and services to be procured for the construction of a new 330-Bed Maternity Block at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).
This follows a request by Government represented by the Ministry of Finance for a tax waiver covering Import Duties, Import and Domestic Value Added Tax (VAT), Ghana Education Trust Fund (GET Fund) Levy, National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL), EXIM and Special Import Levy.
The request has been laid before the House in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and at the request of the Government acting through the Minister responsible for Finance Ken Ofori Atta under the exercise by him of his power under the laws and regulations relating to the waiver of Duties and Taxes.
It was for the waiver of Import Duty, Import NHIL, Import VAT, GET Fund Levy, NHIL, EXIM Levy, Special Import Levy, Import and Domestic VAT amounting to €20,476,372.00 on imports and €3,698,065.00 on local purchases on materials, equipment and works to be procured in respect of the construction and equipping of the 330-Bed Maternity Block.
Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, Chairman of the Finance Committee in presenting the Committee’s report observed that by the provisions of Article 174 (2) of the Constitution, Parliament is empowered to confer power on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by an Act of Parliament.
The Chairman added that the exercise of the power conferred on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax in favour of any person or authority is by the said provisions made subject to the prior approval of Parliament by resolution.
The proviso also empowers the Finance Minister to exempt any authority, corporation or individual from the payment of Duties and Taxes by the combined operation of laws and regulations such as the Customs Act of 2015, the Export and Import Act of 1995, the Trade, Agricultural and Industrial Fund Act of 2013, the Value Added (Amendment) Act of 2015 and other existing laws and regulations applicable to the collection of custom duties.
The Committee Chairman further explained that the Committee thoroughly considered the request and found the approval to be necessary for the timely and smooth implementation of the project hence the Committee’s recommendation to the House to adopt and approve the report by resolution, in view of the immense anticipated benefits the country stands to gain from the implementation of the project.
Once completed, the 330-bed Maternity Block, will contribute to addressing the persistent challenges of high maternal and child health morbidity and mortality in Ghana as well as accelerate the progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through enhanced access to quality maternal and child health services.
Ghana | Atinkaonline.com