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24.02.2005 Business & Finance

BUDGET: Govt to review collection of Tax Revenue

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Accra, Feb. 24, GNA - In order to enhance revenue mobilisation, the Government is to review the fines of Value Added Tax (VAT) defaulters at realistic levels and eliminate the need for further adjustment in future.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would administer property rates on contract basis for commission.

Presenting the National Budget Statement for 2005 in Parliament, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said a Gold Auditing Programme would be initiated to effectively check declarations made by gold mining companies to enable the Government to collect royalties.

He said GCNet would be extended to Elubo and Paga this year to reduce revenue leakages, enhance revenue collection and improve data on trade statistics.

The Minister said excise duties on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages would be reviewed to bridge the profitability differentials between imported and domestic production of these products. This is to modify the regime towards international best practices to encourage domestic production in addition to the adoption of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Common External Tariff (CET).

Mr Baah-Wiredu said the ECOWAS CET would be implemented for all the items for which the tariffs charged were either the same as those of the protocol or which the tariff difference was negligible and negotiations on the tariffs for the other items to achieve convergence in the tariff regime of ECOWAS.

He said Government would encourage and promote economic and efficient operation of the banking and credit system by engaging the players in the financial sector.

He said service delivery in the Public Sector would be improved to support Private Sector development by increasing efficiency and transparency.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said the national Board for Small Scale Industries would be strengthened to provide technical and management advisory services for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.

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