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21.08.2004 Regional News

High compliance of NHIL in the Volta Region

By GNA

Aflao (V/R), Aug. 21, GNA - Compliance in the implementation of the two-and-a-half per cent National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) among the VAT Service-registered agents in the Volta Region has been found to be encouraging since it started three weeks ago.

A preliminary post-NHIL implementation survey so far undertaken in Ho and other towns by the Service in the Region revealed that apart from few higher price increases of between five and 10 per cent on goods and services, the overall market performance so far has been without much problem.

Mr Peter Sagpio, VAT Service Volta Regional Deputy Director, who made this known at an education forum on the NHIL for Freight forwarders at Aflao, said reasons for some of the increases identified were not due to the implementation of levy.

"A service provider told the survey team he had just completed the renovation of his business premises and, therefore, increased the price of his services to recoup the investment", he said.

Mr Sagpio cautioned registered agents of the Service not to consider the introduction of the NHIL as an avenue for arbitrary price increases, saying they were obliged by law as citizens to effectively contribute their quota to the mobilization of funds for the success of the of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He said he was hopeful that the implementation of the NHIL in the whole country would be smooth, similar to the preliminary success story in the Volta Region, saying these examples need to be copied by other traders in the country.

Mr Sagpio mentioned that Guinness Ghana Limited and Unilever Ghana Limited, two major producers in the country had decided to absorb the NHIL, keeping their price levels still at the pre-NHIL figures.

He insisted that technically, the NHIL is not an increment in VAT though they appear similar, and urged agents to be diligent in the collection and submission of returns of the new levy and the VAT.

Mr Sagpio said the NHIS, which has been accepted as a better alternative health care delivery system in place of the cash-and-carry system had come to stay and, therefore, needed the support of all to succeed.

Mr Anku Adjah, a Resource Person of the Service, asked traders to be careful in the calculation of the VAT and the NHIL on goods and services to avoid tax-on-tax calculations so as not to unnecessarily over increase prices.

He advised that the taxes must be calculated on the base figures of goods and services.

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