14.04.2005 General News

Government urged to find new ways of raising revenue

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Kumasi, April 14, GNA- Mr Kofi Asamoah, Deputy Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in charge of Operations, has called on the Government to sit up and develop strategies to widen the tax net and stop over relying on petroleum tax as revenue for national development. He said Government's shift from direct taxation to indirect taxation would continue to impose severe economic hardships on the ordinary Ghanaian and workers.

Mr Asamoah made the call at a joint meeting of the Executive Committee of the Ashanti Regional and Kumasi District Councils of Labour in Kumasi on Thursday.

The meeting discussed the new minimum wage, deregulation of petroleum products, the forthcoming May Day celebrations as well as the policies and constitution of the TUC.

Mr Asamoah said there were a lot of people making huge sums of profits in the informal sector, but they were not paying taxes to the state.

He therefore urged the government to develop appropriate strategies to raise taxes from the informal sector and not always rely on revenue from petroleum products.

Mr Asamoah expressed the view that increases in the prices of petroleum products should have been done gradually to reduce its negative impact on workers.

He reiterated the call by the TUC on Government to review some of the taxes on petroleum products, especially the social mitigation levy. Mr Asamoah warned that the current deregulation exercise could impose severe economic problems for the country since the oil companies might form a cartel to raise the prices of petroleum products.

He said the continued influx of cheap foreign goods onto the Ghanaian market posed a serious challenge to workers and advised all unionised labour to team up to protect their interests.

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