Industries likely to pay for tax stamp

Mr. Yankyera Akwasi

…textile, pharmaceuticals sector targeted

Constraints in implementing the tax stamp policy, could trigger government to ask industries to pay for the stamp in future, an Advisor to the Commissioner General of GRA, Mr. Yankyera Akwasi has said.

Mr. Yankyera, speaking to the Goldstreet Business at the 4th quarter annual CEOs breakfast meeting organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, said, “the law makes provision for industries to pay part of the cost for the stamps depending on the outcome of implementation.”

“For now we have not decided on any percentage yet. Government will, with time, consider the pros and cons and come up with a decision,” he indicated.

Mr. Yankyera maintained that, asking industries to pay for the stamps, will make them treat the prints with the value and with care.

“Now the stamps are free and people may not take good care of them. When industries begin paying for it, it may be handled with some importance,” he clarified.

However, industrialists assert that government is simply being driven by its financial constraints in rolling out the initiative. They warn that in the face of rising operating costs resulting from cedi depreciation and rising fuel costs manufacturers in particular will be sorely tempted to simply pass on the whole new cost to consumers, thus fuelling a significant rise in inflation.

This news will definitely not be welcomed by beverage manufacturers and importers as several stakeholders including the Beverage Producers Association and the AGI are currently kicking against moves by government to make industries pay for the stamps in future.

However, Yankyera emphasized that the move will be in accordance with the law if government decides to make industries pay a percentage of money for the stamp.

Last year 2017, the Industry sector, the highest growing sector with a GDP share of 25.5 percent, had its growth rate increase to 16.7 percent after contracting by 0.5 per cent in 2016.

The manufacturing subsector has since the last three years declined consistently from 4.8 percent in 2015, to 4.6 percent in 2016 and further to 4.5 percent last year.

Beverage manufacturers have lamented that government’s quest to make them pay for the tax stamp could result in the sector’s further decline.

But the Head of Tax Policy Unit at the Finance Ministry, Daniel Atwere Nuer, disclosed that the tax stamp policy from next year 2019, will be extended to the textile sector and subsequently to the pharmaceutical industry.

“Discussions will soon be finalized for implementation of the policy in the textile sector beginning next year and later for the pharmaceutical sector,” he indicated.

Meanwhile, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries, Seth Twum Akwaboah, has said that contrary to news making rounds that the association rejected the tax stamp policy, the AGI rather embraced it.

“The AGI embraced the tax stamp policy, although we had a few concerns at the time the act was passed in 2013, and we complained that we were not adequately consulted and rightly so but we have had series of engagements afterwards “he said

Mr. Akwaboah appealed to government not to put the cost of the stamps on industries since that could curtail their growth.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe