Accra, May 16, 2017 – A nine - member Board of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has been inaugurated by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta.
Addressing the Board, the Minister said revenue mobilization was the first of the five pillars defined by government to lead government’s economic transformation program.
The Finance Minister, therefore, charged the GRA Board to initiate aggressive measures to ensure optimum and an efficient revenue tax administration. He urged the board to employ measures such as the prosecution of tax evaders and if need be employ the services of the police to collect taxes.
Mr. Ofori-Atta noted that the newly inaugurated board had an enormous task in raising the required revenue to support governments program and activities. He stressed that government will bring pressure to bear on GRA in meeting targets. He however, encouraged the board saying “it is once in a lifetime opportunity to be a warrior for the country.”
The Hon. Deputy Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng (MP), who inaugurated the board on behalf of the Minister said, government has chosen to move from the strategy of taxation to stimulating growth in production. “So what this means is that whatever taxes are left to collect should be collected well”, he added.
He said this strategy chosen by government is suppose to bring in more money to government in a durable and sustainable way, and that is why government has chosen the board, who he described as proven and capable people.
He therefore called on the Board to address the revenue administration inefficiencies, corruption and overhaul the prevailing culture of the Agency. The Deputy Minister noted that Ghana as a low middle income country is transiting away from donor support. As such, he said, government would be relying heavily on the GRA as a major revenue mobilizing agency.
Government, he stressed, is committed to increasing domestic revenue mobilization and will embark on the following measures:
· Continue tax administration reforms;
· Improve transfer pricing audits;
· Introduce Point of Sales Device to curb tax evasion and improve revenue collection under the VAT system;
· Improve tax collection compliance through data matching;
· Institute measures to broaden the tax base;
· Commence full implementation of the excise tax stamp Act 2013 (Act 873) to boost revenue collection and curtail under invoicing and smuggling.
· Improve control of exemptions and concessions: and
· Conduct structured post clearance.
The Board Chairman, Mr. Harry Owusu, on behalf of Board members, thanked government for the confidence reposed in them. He promised that the Board would deliver on its mandate and cooperate fully with the Ministry of Finance (MoF).
He however, called on the MoF to be supportive of the Board which will amount to the procurement of technological devices to ensure an efficient tax administration system in the transfer and of data nationwide on a timely basis. He also urged government to come up with a strategy to combat the underground economy.
Members sworn in were, Harry Owusu, Chairman, Kofi Nti, member, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, member, Ernest Akore, Member, Adelaide Ahwireng, member. Juliana Addo-Yobo, member and Major Ablorh Quarcoo, member. The rest are Millison Narh, member, and Col. Kojo Damoah, who were not present at the swearing- in-ceremony. - END -