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Parliament passes three critical revenue bills

The Parliament of Ghana has passed the three revenue bills that will play a critical role in restoring Ghana’s economic stability and growth.

The three revenue bills are the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, the Excise Duty and Excise Tax Stamp (Amendment) Bill and the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill.

The bills were given the green light after a majority decision of 137-136 on Friday 31 March 2023.

The government is seeking to generate approximately GHC4 billion a year to supplement domestic revenue.

According to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Ernest Addison, the passage of the revenue bills will conclude the requisite prior actions. As agreed on in the staff-level agreement to advance Ghana’s US$3 billion programme to the IMF executive board for the country to ease its current economic difficulties.

To this end, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) press release noted that “on fiscal policy the committee noted that the Budget Statement for 2023 has set fiscal policy on a consolidation path which is consistent with key elements agreed with the IMF at the staff level in December 2022”.

Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana

MPC’s call

According to the MPC statement, “the domestic debt exchange, new revenue measures, and structural fiscal reforms” embarked on by the government “will provide significant reduction of debt service and help create fiscal space”.

“The fiscal outlook is contingent on the financing of the budget and will require the conclusion of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme as well as securing the requisite financing assurances from bilateral donors. Indications are that these discussions are proceeding well.

“Based on the above, it is imperative that Parliament prioritises the passage of the revenue bills currently before it. Under the staff-level agreement with the IMF, the Bank of Ghana and the Ministry of Finance have finalised a memorandum of understanding on zero financing to the Budget which will be signed shortly,” the MPC press release signed by Dr Addison read.

“The passage of the relevant revenue bills by Parliament will therefore conclude the required prior actions to advance Ghana’s programme to the IMF executive board. This will be critical in resetting the economy on the path of recovery, including putting it firmly on a disinflation path and sustained growth,” the release said.

 

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