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21.01.2005 General News

I will widen tax net - Baah-Wiredu

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Accra, Jan. 21, GNA - Mr Kwadjo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning-Designate said on Friday that he would strive to widen the tax net and improve revenue collection. He would do this by positioning the Custom, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Internal Revenue Service and VAT Service to operate at optimum levels.

"I will continue with the work of my predecessor and further decentralise revenue collection to meet set targets for national development'.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said this when he was asked how he intended to improve tax collection when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament to be vetted for the position of Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

He said if given the nod he would employ strategies to maximise revenue to boost the economy.

He said there was the need to inject more fund into sheanut production " just as we did for cocoa to increase our foreign earnings". Mr Baah-Wiredu agreed to a question by Dr Ben Kumbour, a Member of the Committee that efforts must be made to retrieve monies given out as soft loans to small-scale businesses.

"I believe there is room for improvement on retrieving the loans and I urge the committees at the district level to ensure that," he said.

On sports the Finance Minister-Designate, who held the Sports Portfolio in the previous dispensation, said his greatest achievement was the winning of the right to host CAN 2008 in Ghana as well as medals hauled in by Ghanaian athletes at the recent African Games. "I also ensured that playing fields were developed in primary and junior secondary schools in the districts to enhance sports in general," he said. 21 Jan. 05

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