President John Mahama has cautioned Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) not to over burden businesses within their jurisdiction with tax.
According to him, even though MMDCEs have to generate their own revenue, it does not mean they should “over tax’’ business because it will only drive away businesses.
"…we also need you to take seriously the issue of internally generated funds; you must try and raise as much revenue as possible. But that does not also mean you must over tax your people and over tax business," he said.
President Mahama noted that "when you over tax businesses, you drive them away from your district; you should guard against over taxing businesses.’’
He said this when he opened a two-day conference of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives in Accra. The conference is under the theme “Implementing the Better Ghana Agenda”.
It is recalled that government in recent months have come under a barrage of criticism from the populace and businesses over the introduction of the tax amendment bill which effectively increased VAT to 17.5 percent.
The tax net was also widened to include hitherto things that did not fall under the tax net.
The President used the occasion to urge the various participants to cease the opportunity and as a priority, create jobs within their districts.
According to him, job creation should be seen as a local effort to enable the assemblies take initiatives which will address local needs to subsequently feed into the national agenda.
He also reiterated his administration’s efforts at prioritizing education and ensuring that it is improved across all levels of the educational ladder.
Touching on government’s pro-poor policies, President Mahama urged the various districts to design their own home-grown policies and programs to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
The president announced that work will begin next month on building permanent administrative facilities for the newly created districts, who don’t have places to effectively operate.
On his part, Minister for Local government and Rural Development, Akwasi Oppong Fosu, called on the MMDCEs to be focused on their core responsibilities and seek to maintain their composure at all times.
According to him as representatives of the President they need to comport themselves even in the face of extreme provocation, so their actions don’t disgrace the Presidency and the NDC Party.
The two day conference will see presentation on various topics by persons such as the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Djan, Chairman of CHRAJ, Laureta Lamptey, Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Aseidu Nketia amongst others.
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