Mr. Emmanuel Amoah Darkwa, a prominent Chartered Economist has made a pronouncement, in relation to government’s recent Mid-year budget reassessment by Finance minister, Hon. Ken Ofori-Attah.
He spoke on the “Omanbapa Kasa” show with host Kofi Asamoah on Pink FM.
Relating to the issue of Value Added Tax (VAT) increase, Mr. Amoah Darkwa has revealed that, it would not have been the best proposition to increase the rate of VAT as at now. He continued saying there are other resourceful means of raising revenue other than boost in VAT.
Comparing the recent mid-year budget review to that of the budget assessment as at January 2018, the Chartered Economist asserted that there is no vast disparity between the two.
He cited that in the case of cocoa, global market prices are on the low and government could have reduced its cost but that couldn’t happen due to issues of politics pertaining to the fruit.
Mr. Darkwa averred to government’s assurance of distributing tractors. He charged the media to undertake an enquiry to verify whether or not government is fulfilling his budget promises or not, challenges faced in accomplishing them and ways to handle them.
The Chartered Economist went on to extol the government for its efforts in including “macroeconomic indicators” in the budget which was evaluated in the early part of the year and also in the Mid-year review.
In the topic of the Cedi against the Dollar, the Economist stated, “We live in a largely import-dependent economy and for this reason, it puts strain on the currency.” He explained that this is so because, “the Cedi is converted to a foreign currency like Yen, Euro, Dollar or Pounds whenever there is the need for an item to be bought from outside.”
He also made mention that, less is done in adding of value to our exports like cocoa, gold and oil, therefore, when international prices are decreased, it affects the Cedi negatively.
Mr. Amoah Darkwa pointed out that one factor which depreciated the Cedi recently was the reduced prices of the cocoa, “which means we are not getting a lot of money for our Net Reserves, which cushions the Cedi”.
He stated that, the country has not done much in internal production of goods and this prevents money from staying in our country, “and it is a structural defect which must be looked at”, he added. He suggested that with the “One District, One Factory policy”, industries should be constructed to produce goods which are imported.
With response to Minority’s claims on government increasing taxes by introducing Flat rates, Mr. Emmanuel Amoah said that the initiative might serve as more money.
He then disclosed that he is yet to draw his own analysis as to whether the converting of Get Fund and the National Health Insurance License to Flat rates will be of good benefit.
The Economist also cautioned that the sources of money of the public should be investigated and taxes paid accordingly.
Story by: Sarah Appiah/ Bernice Amoakoah/pinkfmonlinegh.com