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02.12.2007 General News

Western Regional heads meet at Sekondi


Mr Samuel Kofi Otabil, Western Regional Head of the Valued Added Tax (VAT) Office, has advised registered traders to issue VAT invoice to customers to prevent loss of tax revenue to the State.

Mr Otabil, who gave the advice at a meeting of Heads of Departments, Corporations and Boards at Sekondi, said the country lost tax revenue when registered traders issued their own invoices.

He urged the public to collect VAT invoices when they purchase items from registered traders to ensure that the State obtained revenue for development.

Mr Otabil reminded registered traders that it was an offence under the VAT Law to fail to issue VAT Invoice.

He noted that the Financial Administration Law required that all government purchases should be procured from VAT registered traders.

Mr Otabil said there were 1,990 VAT registered traders in the Western Region, of which 1,021 were operating under standard rate of 15 percent and 614, under the flat rate of 3.0 percent.

He said 355 registered traders were inactive for various reasons.

Mr Otabil said the Takoradi Local VAT Office was 21.3 percent behind its target for this year as at October.

He said the reasons for the shortfall included the folding up of the British America Tobacco (BAT) Limited, which used to account for about 70 percent of Local VAT Office revenue.

Mrs Sweetie Sowah, Regional Director of Legal Aid Board, said her outfit catered for people, who could not afford the services of lawyers.

She said the Legal Aid Board did not demand or collect money for its services.

Mrs Sowah said the legal Aid Scheme covered insurance claims, non-maintenance of children, matrimonial and tenancy cases.

She said the scheme was not a court and had embraced the Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

Mrs Sowah said the scheme would soon establish Community Mediation Committees to assist resolve cases at the local level.

She also said her office handled 599 cases in 2006 as against 471 in 2005 and 501 cases in 2004.

Nana Amua-Sekyi, Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), said the Commission existed to protect the rights of the citizenry.

She said the Commission had not been able to enforce some of its decisions because it was not a court.

Nana Amua-Sekyi said the non-maintenance of children topped the cases that have passed through her office, adding that the Commission used mainly mediation to settle cases.

Source: GNA