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16.05.2007 General News

5,091 companies owe government

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About 5,091 companies were in arrears of payment of income tax to government as at last week Friday, Prof George Gyan-Baffour, a Deputy Finance Minister told Parliament.

He said all indebted companies were said to have made some kind of arrangements to settle their indebtedness.

The Deputy Minister was responding to a question from Ms Akua Dansua, (NDC-North Dayi) about companies in arrears, the amount involved and how the debts would be collected before the end of the year.

Prof Gyan-Baffour said it would not be prudent to mention names of the companies "because being in arrears is not illegal, however, mentioning names can embarrass a company, which has not done anything wrong."

He said: "I will, however, urge firms that are in arrears to pay promptly because it is out of these taxes that the national development is funded."

The Deputy Minister said there was always a grace period of 30 days after every quarter within which companies were supposed to settle their indebtedness and the companies in arrears could arrange with the Commissioner to pay in installments.

In response to another question, Prof Gyan-Baffour said apart from Mali and Guinea who had received loans from Ghana no other country has benefited from such facility.

"Mr Speaker, Ghana it will be recalled gave out some loans to some neighbouring African countries in the late 1950s and early 1960s. These countries were the Republic of Mali and Guinea. They were each given 10 million pounds," he recalled.

"Apart from these two countries, we are not aware of any other loan or loans Ghana has given to any country."

The Deputy Minister said these in response to a question on if Ghana had ever given out loans to any country.

Source: GNA