The Head of the Finance Department of the
University of Cape Coast, Professor John Gatsi has challenged the authority of
the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia over the port duty reduction
announcement he made at the Town Hall meeting on Wednesday.
According to him, “there is no law
that permits the Vice President to declare reduction in port charges without
the approval of parliament”.
Dr Bawumia, who heads the president’s
Economic Management Team, gave an account on the wobbly performance of the cedi
and the outlook of the country’s macroeconomic indicators.
He used the platform to announce a 50 per
cent reduction on import duties at the ports and 30 per cent reduction on vehicle
import and argued that the nation’s import duties gave undue advantage to its
neighbours who have registered huge traffic at their ports in recent times.
The announcement has been welcomed by
importers who have consistently demanded for a reduction.
Prof. Gatsi indicated that “the
announcement that the charges takes effect on Wednesday may not materialise
because of the various stages that must be satisfied before implementation, there
is no law that grants the Vice President the power to make such announcements,
he will have to go to parliament and seek approval and show the House the
impact of how that change can have on revenue mobilisation for the country”.
Reacting to the claim, Dr Gideon Boako, economic spokesperson for the Vice President, insisted that the economic management team had already engaged the relevant stakeholders over the reduction in the import charges saying, “Nobody should assume the government does not know what it is about, there is no way the government will announce such reductions without engaging the Ghana Revenue Authority.”
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