The 7th floor of the Job 600 (West Wing) of Parliament became the centre of attraction when the Finance Committee of Parliament met with some stakeholders in the business sector to discuss the introduction and implementation of the 3% flat VAT rate proposed by government.
The leadership of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG), and the National Electrical Dealers Association (NEDA) 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 National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) on the finance committee led by the Ranking Member, Hon. Cassiel Ato Forson joined the AGI and kicked against it.
But their move was fiercely resisted by the Majority New Patriotic Party (NPP) members on the committee who had also wanted to court the media to hear the finance minister.
Commenting on the issue, Mr. Ato Forson told the media 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, the MP for Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam and a former deputy Minister for finance urged the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to, as a matter of urgency stop the implementation of the 3% flat VAT rate.
Failure to do so, he warned, will see the minority going to court over the issue.
However, the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, called for calm since no illegality has been committed.
“After this engagement we will go back to the drawing board to consider the concerns raised,” Mr. AtO Forson said.
Meanwhile, Executives of GUTA have thrown its support behind government and had subsequently applauded the finance ministry for the re-introduction of 3% flat VAT rate.
“We engineered for the introduction of 3% flat VAT rate during President J. A. Kufuor’s time but was scrapped during President Mahama’s time” President of GUTA explained.
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