Parliament last Wednesday approved the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government which includes the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Special Petroleum Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Special Import Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Repeal) Bill, 2017 presented by the finance minister to enable government practicalise the tax cuts outlined in the budget.
The approval which took place Wednesday March 15, 2017 saw the minority NDC abstaining from the vote as they earlier indicated because of moves by the government to spend the country’s oil revenue (Annual Budget Funding Amount) in funding the free SHS policy and the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Their decision was also influenced by the decision of the government to slash down the 7.5% District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) by 2.5%.
Ken Ofori-Atta in his winding up remarks addressed some of the issues raised during the debate. He explained that government is intent on achieving “the revenue target which is key to the success of this budget” adding that “government is optimistic that the revenue projections in the budget are achievable notwithstanding the underperformance last year,” he noted.
The finance minister also stated that if the government is able to plug the leakages and loopholes in revenue administration as well as ensuring compliance, it should be able to achieve its revenue target in 2017.