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Reading of 2017 Budget: Ghanaians expect tax cuts

MANY Ghanaians are expecting reduction in imports levies and other taxes in anticipation of the budget reading today by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta.

Food vendors, teachers, motor repairers, cobblers, mobile phone sellers, auto parts dealers, business associations have recapped their various needs to be factored in the budget.

According to a cross-section of Ghanaians interview by Today they observed that the budget, first for the NPP government, is expected to capture how the government intends to allocate its resources for the operations of the various sectors of the economy.

Today’s budget is expected to summarise how the NPP government will address the assorted fiscal policies that have affected the smooth running of businesses.

A mobile phone importer, Stephen Odoi Mensah, told Today that he expects a reduction in the copious tax charges currently levied on mobile phones and other businesses.

According to him, there are a number of taxes that mobile phone dealers deem irritating with others too that need to be removed to enhance the production capacity of hundreds of businesses.

A car dealer at Abossey-Okai, Kaneshie in Accra, James Owusu, noted that a reduction in the import duty on vehicles will encourage the average Ghanaian worker to own a car.

He maintained that in the same vein a reduction in import levies on raw materials will aide industries to compete with each other and help them promote export.

Managing Director of Ib and Sons Company Limited, Ibrahim Jilbril, dealers in motorbikes, told Today that though he expects some tax cuts on imports, he was of the view that widening the tax net will be an option to relieve businesses of their load.

Even though he agreed that government needed money for development, widening the tax net, he intimated, will bring in more people to pay taxes.

Chairman of VW Vehicles Spare Parts Dealers Association at Abossey-Okai, Joseph Owusu, was hopeful of some tax reductions.

He therefore seized the opportunity to appeal to the government to rope in more people into the tax net.

However, others interviewed in and around the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange maintained that they were looking for a budget that will bring hope for job opportunities.

This, they said, was because unemployment had been a serious challenge to this country.

Last week the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government outlined plans to create jobs through innovations in both the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) assured Ghanaians that the budget will contain pragmatic solutions to all relevant requests by various stakeholders, and will also touch on tax cuts as well as other incentives to boost local production.

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