The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has become the latest business community in the country to slam Parliament over the passage of government’s three new tax bills into law.
AGI in a statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Seth Twum Akwaboah said the passage of the bills is detrimental to the economic growth of the country because they “pose very dire consequences for Industry.”
The Association says it was not consulted prior to the introduction and debate of the bills and that its submissions were not considered.
“We denounce the lack of stakeholder consultation on such fiscal policies, which have negative impact on businesses. AGI took steps to make input to the bills, and it’s obvious that our submissions did not receive the consideration we expected.”
It also mentioned some hurdles including inflation, VAT, increased utility tariffs, etc. already confronting the business community which the government and Parliament disregarded to have the three bills passed.
AGI also warned that the new taxes will force industry to cut down expenditure and production volumes which will eventually affect the revenue the government is seeking to rake with the passage of the bills and called therefore called for engagements with the various stakeholders to forestall future consequences.
“Contrary to government’s ambitious revenue projection which largely hinges on the performance of Industry, we foresee a contraction in manufacturing and other related business activities. Businesses may have no option but to cut down on expenditure and production levels to stay within budget. With the foregoing, government risks missing its revenue target if industry has to contend with these new taxes. While we reckon that Government needs revenue, fiscal prudence is crucial. We appreciate the urgent need of the IMF measures, but this should not be at the expense of growth in our industrial sector.”
“We call on Government to engage AGI on measures to incentivise our local industries to forestall the negative consequences of these policies. To this end, we welcome the opportunity to dialogue with Government on how to save jobs and the strategic options to explore in cushioning our local industries. AGI wishes to assure its members that the Association will continue to engage Government on such fiscal policies to bring positive reviews in subsequent national budget statements.”