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27.03.2012 Business & Finance

From a collapsed 12.7% in the wake of the re-basing in 2010: NATION'S TAX REVENUE TO GDP RATIO NOW 15.9%-GRA Boss

-Government procures 250 vehicles for the Revenue Authority
By The Al-Hajj
From a collapsed 12.7% in the wake of the re-basing in 2010: NATION'S TAX REVENUE TO GDP RATIO NOW 15.9%-GRA Boss
LISTEN MAR 27, 2012

The country's tax revenue to GDP ratio which collapsed to 12.7% in the wake of the re-basing of the economy in 2010 grew by 3 percentage points just in one year, hitting 15.9% in 2011. This has no precedence in recent global revenue history.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. George Blankson at a management retreat in Koforidua.

He said: “This is a remarkable achievement. At the High Level Aid Effectiveness Conference held in Busan, South Korea late last year, attended by the UN Secretary General, four (4) Heads of State and the US Secretary of State; Ghana's achievement of 3 percentage points growth in tax/GDP ratio in one year came up for mention as a performance which has no precedence in recent revenue history”.

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), tasked to collect seven billion five hundred and forty-four million sixty-six thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC7, 544.66) in 2011 has exceeded the target by 15.4 percent, raking into the national kitty GHC8, 706.39, representing 46.6% over the collection for 2010.

Mr. Blankson said the GRA had been tasked to collect eleven billion one hundred and sixty-six million fifty-seven thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 11,166.57) for 2012 for the national treasury, which is 28.3% over and above the 2011 actual collection.

He said even though the margin is huge, the attainment of the target was not beyond the capabilities of the GRA, given the calibre of staff and their dedication and commitment to duty.

He said “the exceptional revenue performance of the GRA for 2011 would not have been possible without the goodwill and support of taxpayers and commended the spirit of voluntary compliance demonstrated by the majority of taxpayers in the 2011 and urged them to keep it up”.

The three-day programme is under the Theme “Executing the strategic and modernization plans 2012-2014, the way forward”.

The Commissioner General of GRA said the retreat was to assess their mobilization efforts in 2011 and together consider issues and activities that would move the Authority forward in 2012 focusing on how best to implement the GRA three-year strategic and modernization plans for 2012 to 2014.

“For any modern organization, assessing past performances and charting a strategic path for the years ahead is a healthy exercise if the organization is not to repeat the mistakes of the past and slide down in its performance,” he said.

In a key note address read on his behalf, the Minister of Finance, Dr Kwabena Duffour said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is to procure 250 vehicles this year for the Ghana Revenue Authority.

Dr Duffour said he was not oblivious of the challenges facing the GRA in revenue mobilization such as inadequate logistics, regular cash flow and infrastructure deficits and assured that the Ministry would collaborate with the GRA board and top management to address these issues.

He commended the GRA for exceeding the 2011 revenue target by as much as 15.4 percent but added that it should explore more innovative avenues to widen the tax net to cover more people, especially those in the informal sector.

“You will agree with me that the contribution of the informal sector operators to tax collection is not anything to write home about and there is therefore the need to adopt appropriate measures to handle this segment of the population”.

Dr Duffour urged the management of the GRA to apply the tax laws firmly but fairly to recalcitrant taxpayers.

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