NPP To Abolish Import Duties – Bawumia
7/18/2012 6:00:58 PM -
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, 2012 New Patriotic Party (NPP) vice-presidential candidate has disclosed, to the Ghanaian Diaspora, plans of the next NPP administration under Nana Akufo-Addo to support the desired massive technology acquisition through, among others the abolition of import duties on equipment into the country.
Dr. Bawumia was speaking on Friday in New York to the Ghanaian community in the state as part of his working visit to the United States and Canada.
In addressing the many gathered, the Nana Akufo-Addo's running mate stated, 'The import duty regime prevailing in Ghana is one that has been designed to maximise revenue and not to support local industry. The short term revenue gains from such taxes are attained at the expense of long term production and jobs, increased cost of doing business and increased cost of living.
'It would make more economic sense to encourage the import of equipment which would allow the production of goods and services and the employment of Ghanaians. Government can then tax the profits of firms at that juncture rather than discouraging the setting up of the business as a result of high customs duties. Our aim is a customs regime targeted at encouraging local and foreign firms to set up in Ghana to produce for exports. We want Ghana to be the manufacturing hub of West Africa.'
Dr. Bawumia added, 'We need a paradigm shift because we cannot compete in the 21st century with 18th century technology.'
The former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana argued that as a result of the narrow tax base, governments have traditionally relied on trade taxes for a significant proportion of revenue.
However, Dr. Bawumia stated that with the NPP's proposed formalization of the economy which would mean a proper national identification system with unique national identification numbers for all residents from birth, street addresses and the move toward electronic payments, the tax base will be significantly broadened to increase overall revenue for the state and its development agenda.
The vice presidential candidate informed the Ghanaian community that the NPP administration would support local industry in sectors such as real estate, construction, manufacturing, education, ICT and health; to much applause from the audience.
'The next NPP government is looking at providing incentives including duty free imports on, equipment that would support sectors such as agriculture, education, health, ICT, construction and manufacturing' he affirmed.
Accompanying Dr. Bawumia on the two nation tour of North America are Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, the NPP General Secretary and the National Youth Organizer of the Party, Anthony Karbo.