20.07.2004 Health

Industrialists schooled on National Health Insurance Levy

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Accra, July 20, GNA- Mr Joseph F. Odartey Blankson, Commissioner of Valued Added Tax (VAT), on Tuesday said the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) was imposed on goods and services because a large proportion of businesses and individuals operate in the informal sector.

He said it was commonly accepted that a few groups of people, submit their income tax returns and pay the tax due, adding that even those who did, demonstrated a "strong propensity to understate their earnings". Mr Blackson was speaking at a day's seminar organised for about 70 participants from the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industries to educate them on the new NHIL and the changes that they should expect.

The two and half per cent levy, which would commence August 1, 2004, would be on every supply of goods and services made or provided in Ghana; every imported goods; and supply of any imported service, unless otherwise exempted in the Act or under the Regulations made under it. Mr Blackson said the levy would be put into a National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and would be controlled and managed by the National Health Insurance Council (NHIC) for activities related to Health Insurance Schemes.

He said the application of the fund would be in the same line with the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETfund), and that NHIC would decide in consultation with Parliament as to how to disburse the money accruing in the fund at the end of every the year.

He therefore, urged the public, especially industrialists and service providers to support the scheme to ensure quality health for all.

Similar seminars would be organised throughout the country for other sectors including hotel and restaurant operators, Lawyers, Judges and Prosecutors.

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