Ghana: Press highlights review of all the tax exemption regimes, others

The report that the government has started a review of all the tax exemption regimes and incentive structures to ensure…

The report that the government has started a review of all the tax exemption regimes and incentive structures to ensure that the country gets the right value for such packages granted to businesses and the delisting of Ghana from countries with high levels of deficiencies in Anti-Money Laundering, Counter Terrorist Financing regimes are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that the government has started a review of all the tax exemption regimes and incentive structures to ensure that the country gets the right value for such packages granted to businesses, the Head of the Tax Policy Unit at the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Mr. Daniel Nuer, has said.

He explained that the review, which focused on areas such as exemptions for industries, strategic investors and imports, was to help the government identify the necessary adjustments that needed to be adopted into the Tax Exemption Bill currently before Parliament.

“We are reviewing all the incentive structures to remove those that have outlived their usefulness in the tax regime,” Mr. Nuer said at the second quarter 2021 CEO’s Breakfast Meeting organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in Accra yesterday.

The meeting was on the theme: “Understanding Ghana’s taxes and exemptions regime towards increasing investor confidence in the business environment”.

It created the platform for both local and foreign investors, captains of industries, members of the business community, as well as policy makers, to discuss and understand issues related to Ghana’s taxes and exemptions regime.

As part of the review process, Mr. Nuer said, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) was expected to furnish the Ministry of Finance with some selected strategic sectors to benefit from the new regime.

The newspaper says that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said Africa must intensify efforts to retrieve all looted artifacts and cultural treasures housed in museums in countries that stole them from the continent.

He said those countries were making money out of the stolen treasures, for which reason they must be retrieved for the benefit of the people of Africa, adding: “Whatever the obstacles, we must get them back.”

President Akufo-Addo said this when he addressed the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament in Johannesburg, South Africa, last Monday.

It was on the theme: “Year of arts, culture and heritage: Levers for building the Africa we want”.

The President said he had cut the sod for the construction of a Pan-African World Heritage Museum near Winneba in the Central Region to house artifacts and cultural objects from all parts of Pan-Africa.

He said when the museum eventually opened its doors to the world, it would be a major contributor to Africa’s ability to imbibe the deep consciousness of the ideals and goals of Pan-Africanism.

President Akufo-Addo said while Africans were proud of their history, culture and arts, they must also recognise the forces of change and modernisation that were knocking insistently on their doors.

The Times reports that Ghana, will by June this year, be delisted from the countries with high levels of deficiencies in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF) regimes, the European Commission (EC), has announced.

This decision by the Commission to remove the country from such list follows the acknowledgement of the strides that Ghana has made in implementing the action plan of the International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) in record time.

At a meeting between President Akufo-Addo and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the European Union lauded the country for its reforms and sustainable actions, leading to its delisting.

“The Commission, thus, congratulated Ghana for the reforms embarked on, as well as the sustainable, robust systems deployed towards being taken of the list,” a statement signed and issued by the Director of Communications at the Office of the President last Friday said.

“It is expected that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, would, in June 2021, announce that Ghana has been taken off its list of high risk, third-world countries with strategic deficiencies in Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Terrorism Financing,” the statement had it.

Ghana was, added to more than 20 countries, including some African neighbours, Nigeria, Botswana, Mauritius and Zimbabwe, as countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks by the Commission.

Other countries that were included in the list were Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Cambodia, Mongolia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago and Myanmar.

The inclusion of Ghana in the blacklist meant that financial transactions from the country into EU and vice versa received extra scrutiny to ensure that they did not escape the “deficiencies” identified to the benefit of money launderers and terrorist financiers.

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