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16.11.2005 General News

Revenue agencies asked to block leakages

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Accra, Nov. 16, GNA - The Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda on Wednesday asked revenue collection agencies to work to block all leakages to augment government revenue. This, he said, was important if the Government were to make headway with its social, educational and other development programmes.

It is in this direction, that the Ministry was liaising with organised labour and employers to involve them in revenue collection. Mr Adda was speaking at a three-day workshop on human resource management in Accra for personnel of the Internal Revenue Service, VAT Service and the Customs Excise and Preventive Service.

The Minister said for the three institutions to be able to deliver on their responsibility, they must have the necessary human resource and the capacity for effective and efficient execution of Government policies.

Mr Joachim Schmitt, Counsellor Development Cooperation of the German Embassy, said the ability of developing countries to increase their domestic revenue through proper mechanism of tax collection would help to reduce the dependency on external donors.

He said a more effective and efficient operation of the revenue collection agencies would harness the budget process and increase Government revenue, which would in turn affect development. To function effectively, Mr Schmitt said tax administration required well-trained and skilled staff and effective human resource management to achieve this goal.

The Country Director of GTZ, Mrs Marita Broemmelmeier said Germany and Ghana were working tirelessly to ensure transparency, efficiency and customer care in the tax collection systems of the country. She mentioned human resource development as an important tool in every sector and that her agency would work hand in hand with the authorities to help to give capacity training to the staff of the tax collection agencies.

Mr Harry Owusu, Executive Secretary of the Revenue Agencies Governing Board, asked the revenue collection agencies to step up performance and to ensure that the amount of revenue generated was commensurate with the money spent on personal emoluments. He said the current huge expenditure on personal emoluments, which is about 70 per cent of the amounts they were required to retain from their collections, was unsustainable and did not make for efficient running of the agencies.

Mr Owusu said it was not worthwhile to maintain personnel at post in areas where no revenue was generated and warned that unless that trend was reversed and staff made drastic efforts to maximise productivity the end result would be retrenchment. He said indications so far showed that the revenue agencies were on course to achieving the target of 22 trillion cedis set for 2005. This, he said, was done because of the extra measures being put in to block all leakages in the system.

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