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29.10.2008 Business & Finance

GH¢5.1m Tax Waived For Telecom Project

By Salifu Abdul Rahaman and Samuel Nuamah -

Parliament yesterday approved a GH¢5,149, 208.48 waiver of tax liability on equipment and materials either imported or purchased locally for the implementation of the first phase of the national communications backbone network project.

The project is to enhance the provision of communication services, besides supporting e-government applications nationwide.

The first phase had been completed and undergone testing in line with an agreement approved by the house on July 28, 2006.

Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, moved for the approval of the waiver and was seconded by Nii Adu Daku Mante, chairman of the Committee on Finance.

Presenting the committee's report earlier, Nii Mante (NPP- Klottey-Korle), said the committee was informed by Dr. Akoto Osei that due to the exigency of the phase, temporary tax waivers were granted by the ministry for the clearance of equipment and materials for the project pending the actual approval from Parliament.

He said the move was to ensure that the project did not come to a halt, adding that, “if the exemptions were not granted and the contractor was made to pay the taxes, he would have to adjust the prices quoted accordingly”.

“In order to prevent the contractor from adjusting the prices, there was the need to waive the project off the tax,” he said.

The House also approved by a resolution a $92,436,000 mixed credit facility between the government, the Guandong Development Bank of China and BHP Paribas for the implementation of the Sunyani water supply rehabilitation and expansion project.

The project, which is to benefit an estimated population of 341,871 people, will increase water supply to the Sunyani municipality and its environs.

Terms and conditions for the mixed facility include a 30-million dollar grant from Guandong Development Bank, $62,436,000 from BNP Paribas, a two-year grace period and a repayment period of eight years.

Parliament also approved a 19 million euro loan facility agreement between the government and Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau (KWF) to support the implementation of the budget and economic policy of government for the year 2008.