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Finance Minister Calls for Action: Exceed Revenue Targets, Urges GRA-Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam

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The Minister of Finance, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, has urged the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to develop a structured road-map for the efficient implementation of tax measures in the 2024 Budget.

He also emphasized the need for coordination and clear roles to exceed the 2024 revenue target of Gh¢146 billion. Dr. Adam gave the charge in Accra yesterday as the newly appointed Finance Minister when he led a delegation from the ministry to engage the management of the GRA to discuss collaborative efforts to boost domestic revenue mobilization.

The minister, accompanied by some of his directors, was received by the Commissioner-General of the GRA, Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, in the company of the management of the GRA, including Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners. The Finance Minister outlined three key priorities for the GRA under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Credit Facility programme with the country as cleaning the taxpayer register by June this year, completing data migration from all existing portals to the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) portal, and operationalizing major models for registration, returns filing and payments by December this year.

Dr. Adam commended the GRA’s performance of surpassing revenue targets in the previous year, but pointed out the untapped potential that could be optimized for greater achievements. 

Pivotal

Acknowledging the pivotal role of GRA in the government’s fiscal consolidation reforms, he said it was necessary to work collaboratively to surpass the Gh¢145 billion revenue target outlined in the 2024 Budget. The Finance Minister acknowledged the potential for further optimization and stressed the importance of coordinated efforts to exceed the ambitious 2024 target of Gh¢146 billion.

Dr. Adam, who previously served as Minister of State at the Ministry of Energy and later at the Ministry of Finance before being made the substantive minister last Wednesday, highlighted the critical role of meeting those commitments in the success of the IMF programme and urged the GRA to work diligently towards achieving them. He expressed his commitment to collaborate and support the GRA to advance domestic revenue mobilization for the benefit of the country’s economic stability and development. After emphasizing the critical importance of domestic revenue mobilization, Dr. Adam also urged the GRA to advance the cause swiftly in a citizen-friendly manner.

Addressing concerns about the delayed implementation of some of the 2024 revenue measures, particularly the Value Added Tax (VAT) on domestic electricity consumption, Dr. Adam stressed the urgency and the focus required for efficient revenue generation.  He urged the GRA to leverage digital solutions under the government’s digitalization agenda and expand the Electronic VAT (E-VAT) mechanism for improved revenue collection.

Dr. Adam expressed concern about perceived corruption in trade and ports of entry, and announced his intention to visit the ports personally, with the aim of assessing and addressing issues first-hand. He encouraged the GRA to instill discipline and minimize revenue leakages caused by misdescriptions, misclassification and other irregularities.

Exceeding revenue targets 

Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu- Amoah assured the minister of the GRA’s readiness to support the objectives and targets outlined, including initiatives from the IMF. He also acknowledged upcoming revenue initiatives for 2024 and reaffirmed GRA’s dedication to their successful delivery. Highlighting the impressive economic growth, Rev. Dr. Owusu-Amoah said the country celebrated four consecutive years of economic growth, surpassing expectations, in spite of global challenges. “We have consistently exceeded expectations.

The GRA has successfully navigated challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing resilience in maintaining economic momentum,” Rev. Dr. Owusu-Amoah said. The Commissioner-General highlighted the commitment to addressing gaps in systems and fast-tracking processes, emphasizing dedication to the goals outlined in the Medium-Term Plan (MTP). Regarding concerns about data privacy and information gathering, the Commissioner-General revealed collaborations with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to enhance the accuracy of data.

“The GRA is now one of only five African countries automatically receiving information from 70 countries worldwide, aligning with Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) requirements”. This accomplishment has drawn interest from other nations, with Rwanda seeking guidance from Ghana on satisfying OECD standards,” Rev. Dr. Owusu-Amoah said.

He underscored the authority’s commitment to transparency and efficiency in operations and promised it will continue working towards national aspirations. The Commissioner, Support Services Division of GRA, Julie Essiam, expressed enthusiasm for collaboration with the ministry. “We are very excited and happy to work together. We are eager to collaborate further in achieving shared goals,” she stated.

Also, the Commissioner, Domestic Tax and Revenue Division, Edward Apenteng Gyamerah, indicated the readiness of his division and the GRA to mobilize domestic revenue for development and national growth.

Additional source: Graphic online