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Stop harassing businesses in the name of tax compliance – IEAG

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The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG) has expressed anger with the management of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for harassing businesses in the name of tax compliance.

The IEAG accused the GRA of using ‘marfiaran’ tactics to harass businesses under the guise of tax compliance and revenue mobilisation.

“This unguided action adopted by the GRA of imposing contentious back tax claims on businesses in the country without due diligence should be cut short before it gets out of control,” IEAG’s Executive Secretary, Mr Samson Asaki Awingobit, said in a statement dated Tuesday, 15 March 2023.

His comment comes on the back of claims by a businessman and MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong that the GRA was unnecessarily coming after his businesses for no reason.

The IEAG wants the GRA to stop harassing businesses and rather channel such energy into helping sustain businesses that are already being crippled with draconian taxes.

 

Below is the full statement:

GRA MUST STOP THE UNNECESSARY HARASSMENT OF BUSINESSES UNDER THE GUISE OF REVENUE MOBILIZATION THROUGH BACK TAX CLAIM

The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana IEAG has been taken aback by recent actions of the Ghana Revenue Authority GRA in using marfiaran tactics under the guise of tax compliance and revenue mobilisation.

This unguided action adopted by the GRA of imposing contentious back tax claims to businesses in the country without due diligence should be cut short before it gets out of control.

The latest to fall victim to these antics of the GRA is businessman cum politician, Ken Agyapong who has spoken vehemently against what he said was a deliberate attempt by GRA to collapse his business after being issued with a similarly contentious claim of back taxes.

We are not surprised at the outburst from the Assin North lawmaker, because that has been the general feeling among business owners and businesses who our checks indicate that are being hounded out of business by these back tax claims by the GRA.

If we can recall, a similar back tax claim of 773 million dollars issued against MTN by the Ghana Revenue Authority had to be withdrawn after it became contentious.

Multinational companies such as Goldfields, Tullow Oil and Kosmos Energy have all disputed similar back tax claims made against them by the Authority.

The GRA must not under the guise of Revenue mobilisation and meeting Revenue targets make tax claims that will rather cripple already struggling businesses in the country.

It is worth noting that a recent assessment made by the GRA of meeting its target in the first 2 months of 2023 can best be described as pre-ejaculation, considering the fact that it is illogical to use revenue mobilised within the first two months of a calendar year to assess yourself of being in a pole position to meet your yearly target.

We as an association are solidly behind the likes of Hon. Kennedy Agyapong who have been bold to voice out these daylight thievery and machinations being executed by the GRA.

We would like to advise the acting Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority who we know is doing all he can to attract the president’s attention for him (the president) to confirm his appointment, to rather channel such energy into helping sustain businesses who are already being crippled with draconian taxes.

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We’ll ensure there are enough funds for 2023/2024 cocoa purchasing season – COCOBOD

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COCOBOD has assured that concrete steps have been taken to ensure it is able to secure enough funds to finance its annual cocoa purchases in the 2023/2024 crop season.

Against the backdrop of a reportage by Reuters that the firm had borrowed up to $200 million from cocoa traders to plug its funding gap, COCOBOD said it had adopted a two-prong financing strategy to ensure that it obtained the required funds for the purchasing season.

A statement from COCOBOD in response to the Reuters report indicated that it had had firm assurances from its bankers of making funds available in time for the purchasing season and that a “Cocoa syndicated Loan has been laid in Parliament for consideration and approval.”

Below is COCOBOD’s full statement.

FINANCING OF PURCHASES FOR 2023/24 CROP SEASON

There have been some recent publications in the news media in relation to funds for cocoa purchases for the 2023/24 Crop Season.

We wish to brief our stakeholders on this very sensitive national issue as follows:

COCOBOD planned a two-prong financing for the 2023/2024 Crop Season in an effort to diversify Its source of funding for the annual cocoa purchases.

The strategy was therefore, to use a prefinancing arrangement with the international buyers to raise an amount of US$400 million for purchases at the beginning of the Season in September 2023.

These initial funds were expected to be augmented by an additional US$800 million loan from a syndicate of lenders by the end of November 2023. After engagements with buyers for several weeks, the arrangement was however discontinued.

Thus, since the beginning of the Season, cocoa purchases have been financed with noncollateralized cocoa sales proceeds. COCOBOD is therefore still in the process of securing the syndicated loan for the 2023/24 Crop Season.

As a matter of fact, the Board has so far received firm response from our bankers in this regard, and the Cocoa syndicated Loan has been laid in Parliament for consideration and approval.

We wish to use this medium to assure our stakeholders that the necessary arrangements have been made to secure enough funding for cocoa purchases for the year under review.

ISSUED BY: PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT

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Ghana is a good place to do business – Bawumia tells Czech investors

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Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is actively seeking Czech investors for the country.

Dr. Bawumia emphasized that Ghana remains the best country in Africa for investment due to its stability, peace, and growth opportunities for businesses.

He made these remarks during his meeting with the Czech Prime Minister, Peter Fiala, at the Jubilee House in Accra.

“Ghana is an excellent place for doing business. We are the most peaceful country in West Africa and the second most peaceful country in Africa. It is crucial for anyone looking to invest in Africa to consider Ghana as the ideal destination for business.”

“I am confident that this will open up opportunities for our respective business sectors,” he stated.

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Mahama’s ’24hr Economy’ project will revolutionize Ghana – Dafeamekpor

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South Dayi Member of Parliament, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, has said that the ’24-hour Economy’ project conceived by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Former President John Dramani Mahama will turn the economy around if implemented.

Mr Mahama proposed the ’24hr Economy ‘ project when he met with officials of the country’s mother workers union on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at the start of his engagement with key stakeholders in a quest to return to power.

Dubbed ‘Building Ghana Tour’, the interactions with the stakeholders is to apprise them of the policies the next NDC administration will implement to transform the economy.

At Tuesday’s engagement, he said “NDC was left alone as the solitary voice seeking to hold the government accountable and speaking up for the voiceless Ghanaian and we were often cast out as spoilt brats who were ranting just because we have lost power.

“Today, the chickens have come home to roost and we are all affected.”

Commenting on this in a tweet, Mr Dafeamekpor said “Some concrete Examples of John Mahama’s ‘24hr Economy’ Projects include Terminal 3 at Kotoka, Tema Port Container Terminal, New Ridge Hospital, Maritime Hospital, Tema, UGMC, Legon, Kejetia Market, Accra Data Centre, the TamaleTeaching Hospital. It’ll revolutionize the economy.”

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