After recommending to Parliament last year that the 2017/2018 season should be the last time the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is exempted from the payment of tax stamp duty, the Finance Committee has backtracked on its stance
Section 32 (6) of the Stamp Duty Act, 2015 (Act 689) requires that loan documents should be stamped at 0.5 per cent of the loan amount, however, COCOBOD has over the years been exempted from paying this stamp duty in order to ensure that the trade finance facility was used solely for the purchase of cocoa beans and related expenses.
This position was expected to change this year because the finance committee in its report on the syndicated loan last year recommended that COCOBOD
The Chairman of the Finance Committee,
“They are going for a loan of US$1.3 billion and the small money that will come to the central government too through the stamp duty too, they want
“The tax exemption for this year, for instance, is just over US$ 6 million, which if it had been taken by the government would not have seriously affected COCOBOD in
However, in a quick turn-around, the finance committee has recommended to the house to allow
In its report, the committee explained that COCOBOD was currently financially distressed due to declining World market prices; therefore paying the stamp duty would add further financial challenges to the board.
It said this could adversely impact on the purpose
Utilization of 2017/18 facility
The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD,
He said the first 50
The last drawdown was made on December 13, bringing the cumulative drawdown to a full amount of US$1.25 billion (GH¢5.49 billion).
The CEO said GH¢1.93 billion was used as seed funding to license buying companies (LBC) for cocoa purchases, GH¢2.81 billion used for cocoa taken over receipts (CTOR) and cocoa deliveries to LBCs, GH¢395.79 million used for inputs, CODAPEC
Utilization of 2018/19 facility
He also informed the committee that in the 2017/2018 season, the board needed to borrow GH¢2.7 million to support its finances.
He said the borrowing became necessary as a result of the decline in the world prices of cocoa as well as existing legacy debts.
The technical team of COCOBOD informed the committee that the
Currently, the producer prices are higher than the international prices, hence the margin is adverse.
The technical team indicated that if the situation improved, payments would be made into the