Ghana’s Parliament has been urged to pass the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, Excise Duty & Excise Tax Stamp (Amendment) Bills and the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill to complete the prior actions of the Ghana/IMF $3 billion Agreement.
The plea made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo indicated that would put the government in readiness for “our presentation to the Fund Board and more importantly, bolster our domestic revenue mobilisation efforts.”
The President, who thanked Parliament for its support throughout the process, which included the passage of some key revenue laws, said the government recognises that sustained growth must be deliberate, especially in a global landscape marked by forces of technology, trade and intense competition.
He said sustained economic growth required deliberate policy implementation, combined with leadership, social cohesion and deep investments in the core capabilities of people, firms, and institutions to harness the country’s opportunities.
That, President Akufo-Addo indicated, is why together with the private sector counterparts, the government had anchored Ghana’s medium-term growth drivers on competitiveness, integration, adaptation and digital innovation.
All these, according to him, are aimed at raising Ghana’s per capita GDP from the current US$2,500 to US$4,500) (aligning with the Ghana Beyond Aid Charter) by 2030.
Apart from the enhancement of revenue and the judicious use of resources, President Akufo-Addo said it is imperative that a deliberate policy initiative need to be introduced bring the country’s huge import bill.
Last year, the President set up a five-member ad hoc Cabinet committee to work on a policy to enhance domestic production and export development with a four-fold strategy.
They include reducing the country’s import bill in the short-medium and long-term; enhancing domestic productive capacity in selected products; generating widespread employment opportunities and diversifying and expanding Ghana’s export capacity to Africa and beyond, especially through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
In 2021, Ghana’s total import bill was put at US$13.7 billion, according to GRA/ICUMS. On the evidence of existing local productive capacity.
President Akufo-Addo said the government had identified a list of 20 priority products in the categories of primary agricultural products, processed foods and manufactured goods, “where we can confidently enhance domestic production.”
Amongst these are rice, fish, poultry, fruit juice, sugar, tomatoes, vegetable oils, oil palm, fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, soaps and detergents, insulated wire, ceramic products, corrugated paper and paper board, cement/clinker and motor vehicles.
According to President Akufo-Addo the report on the implementation modalities to enhance domestic productive capacity has been prepared and, “once confirmed, the new Minister for Trade & Industry will roll out urgently a series of initiatives to implement the policy.”