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06 July 2017

AGI, NDC MPs team up to fight against 3% flat VAT rate in Parliament

The 7th floor of the Job 600 (West Wing), Thursday, was the center of attraction as the Finance Committee of Parliament met with some stakeholders in the business industry to discuss the 3% flat VAT rate.

But what was so interesting that caught the attention of all members was the fierce attempt by the various interest groups to court the attention of the media to hear their side of the story as to whether they are for or against the 3% flat VAT rate.

The leadership of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Association of Ghana Industries, Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, and the National Electrical Dealers Association as well as the Association of Ghana Industries were held up in a crunch closed-door meeting with the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta and the Finance Committee of Parliament over the 3% flat VAT rate.

Moments after the engagement, the Minority NDC MPs on the Finance Committee led by the Ranking Member, Hon. Cassiel Ato Forson teamed up with the leadership of AGI in an attempt to brief the media over their displeasure of the introduction of the 3% flat VAT rate.

But their move was fiercely resisted by the Majority NPP members on the committee who had also wanted to court the media to hear the Finance Minister.

After going back and forth over the issue, the media were divided, with one part offering their platform to the Minority NDC MPs and AGI while the other group also offered theirs the Finance Minister.

Hon. Ato Forson commenting on the issue told journalists that the government was engaging in illegality with the implementation of the 3% flat VAT.

According to him, the law that was passed by Parliament did not capture importers and was therefore very surprised why the implementation of the law was affecting importers as well.

Worried over this phenomenon, Forson who the MP for Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam and a former deputy Minister for Finance urged the Ghana Revenue Authority to as a matter of urgency stop the implementation of the 3% flat VAT rate.

Failure to do so, he noted, will see the Minority going to court over the matter.

But the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta urged for calm since no illegality has been committed.

Nevertheless, he said they will go back to the drawing board to consider the concerns raised the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee.

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