Kwabena Duffuor applauds 2017 budget

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e9d616ee03780c67597a68d422a1548dA former Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor has advised the government to focus on stabilizing the economy this year rather than pursuing growth, since the economic fundamentals are weak.

Although he lauded the government’s initiatives introduced in this year’s budget, he said it was necessary for care to be taken in ensuring that the fiscal and the macroeconomic environments were more conducive.

Dr. Duffuor, who is the Founder of policy think tank Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), was sharing his views on the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in an interview with the Daily Graphic.

He was contributing to issues raised at a press briefing organized by the IFS on the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in Accra.

“We agree that accelerated growth of the economy is critically needed, but that cannot be achieved in adverse fiscal and macroeconomic environments. “Once the economic fundamentals become stabilized and strong, it is easier to achieve growth. In fact, growth becomes automatic,” he said.

The 2017 Budget

Government has announced major tax cuts in its maiden budget presented to Parliament. The tax cuts are in fulfillment of promises made by the Akufo-Addo-led government ahead of the 2016 elections. In some cases the government has completely abolished some taxes introduced by the previous Mahama administration.

Among the abolished taxes announced Thursday to Parliament by Mr. Ofori Atta are: • The 1 % Special Import Levy – ABOLISHED

• Kayayei Market Tolls – ABOLISHED

• 17.5 % VAT/NHIL on financial services – ABOLISHED

• 17.5 % VAT/NHIL on selected imported medicines, that are not produced locally – ABOLISHED

• 17.5 % VAT/NHIL on domestic airline tickets – ABOLISHED

• 5 % VAT/NHIL on Real Estate sales – ABOLISHED

• Replaced 17.5% VAT/NHIL with 3 % flat rate for traders

• Tax credits and other incentives for businesses that hire young graduates from tertiary institutions

• Tax Incentives for Young Entrepreneurs

• Duty on imported Spare parts Abolished

• Corporate Income Tax to be progressively reduced from 25% to 20% in 2018 Excise duty on petroleum abolished

Special Petroleum Tax Rates reduced from 17.5% to 15%

National Electrification Levy reduced from 5% to 3%

Public Lighting Levy reduced from 5% to 2%

The tax cuts according to the Finance Minister is expected to bring relief to Ghanaians and help transform the economy.

The government in its 2017 budget also announced 456 million cedis for the fulfilment of its one district-one factory campaign pledge.

The government has also announced a 94 million cedis for the commencement of its one-village one dam campaign pledge expected to take off later this year.

-Starrfmonline

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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