Prime News Ghana

Gov't institutes monthly stakeholder dialogue to ease doing business in Ghana

By Primenewsghana
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The government has instituted a new monthly stakeholder dialogue with both local and foreign businesses to fast-track the processes of doing business in Ghana.

The engagement would feature a survey, which will track the progress made on the implementation of measures to ease doing business in the country, as well as ways to improve the business climate in the country.

Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Finance Minister, announced this initiative over the weekend, when he met some members of the Diplomatic Corps as well as captains of trade and industry.

The programme is to ensure that the concerns of both local and foreign businesses in the country are addressed to ensure that they thrive, and contribute more to revenue generation to the government through the payment of appropriate taxes.

At the meeting, it became apparent that high inflation, depreciation of the Cedi, non-uniformed Value Added Tax (VAT) systems, tax harassment, and power instability remained topmost concerns of many businesses.

Other issues were, unfavourable local content conditions, land tenure system and property rights, which the captains of trade and industry said were setbacks to the ease of doing business in Ghana to maximising revenue generation.

Acknowledging the concerns raised, Dr Amin Adam said, “we’re not going to sleep on this… but ensure that the government deepens partnerships to chart a path to grow the economy sustainably by meeting each other half way.”

Regarding the survey on the ease of doing business, the Minister said, “we want to request your support and cooperation to have an index to inform decisions to get to the destination we want to get as a country.”

He charged the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to make its complaints unit effective and more responsive to the plight of businesses, intensify public education, and bring an end to the harassment of businesses.

Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, Minister of Trade and Industry, said, “as partners, we must continue to build continuous consensus to share the burdens inherent in the process of doing business.”

He said the government remained committed to further strengthening effective coordination of reforms on a more sustainable basis with a Business Regulatory Reform Act to be laid before Parliament soon to that effect.

The Act would, among others, promote an improved business environment with creditable rules, provide mediation between government and the business community, and enforce the use of regulatory tools and risk mechanisms.

That, he said, he was optimistic would help lessen the challenges that both local and foreign businesses faced in the country, and encouraged that businesses also pay appropriate taxes to the government and on time.

Mr Irchad Razaaly, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Ghana, reiterated the international community’s support to the country despite the current economic hardship and business climate.

He indicated for example that EU members are part of the country’s ongoing external debt restructuring, with businesses from EU area wanting to invest and buy more from Ghana.

“We’re here to support the local value addition scheme and we want to be given the opportunity to do more,” Mr Razaaly said, while encouraging the government to double up efforts to make the business climate in the country, friendlier.

Madam Julie Essiam, Commissioner-General, GRA, pledged the Authority’s resolve to collaborate to fix all the problems facing both local and foreign businesses pertaining to revenue collection.

“There’s no excuse for any sense of harassment, but we must collect the taxes,” she said, adding, since 2019, digitalisation has advanced with filing of taxes and payment being made online.