Revenue measures will yield expected results --Deputy Finance Minister

BY: Emmanuel Bruce

A Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr John Kumah has said that the government is confident that measures put in place to improve revenue will yield the expected results.

He said one key intervention in revenue mobilisation for economic development was the automation of the revenue administration processes and big data management which would help increase revenue.

He said the Ghana Revenue Authority had also introduced and was implementing a number of revenue administration systems including the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS), the Ghana.gov. platform, the cashless system, the Revenue Assurance and Compliance enforcement interventions and the debt management measures.

“These key interventions are meant to identify and eliminate revenue leakages by taking out the human factor in the processes and block revenue loopholes.

“This is a sure way to increase domestic revenue mobilization and improve the revenue to GDP ratio for Ghana from the current 13 per cent to the 20 per cent target by 2023,” he stated.

Dr John Kumah said when he delivered a speech at the 2022 Internal Audit Conference.

He said the Ministry would continue to rely on Internal Auditors to provide assurance on revenue administration to improve the work of revenue administration.

Policy initiatives

He said in order to ensure macroeconomic stability and fiscal policy of the country, the government had introduced several policy initiatives aimed at creating jobs and accelerating economic development.

He pointed out that The Ghana Cares Program, the YouStart, the Planting for Food and Jobs, the Free Senior High School Education among others have seen substantial investments by government.

He therefore urged the Internal Audit Director-General to continue to provide assurance over the use of such funds to help ensure proper use of the funds for the achievements of the noble intentions of government.

“As the economy gradually recovers, there is the need to sustain efforts aimed at eliminating weaknesses in our financial management processes which continue to undermine the revenue mobilization and effective expenditure management goals of Government.

“It has become critical to address fiscal indiscipline, and minimize corruption, and waste in the management of public resources while ensuring that development is attained with the limited resources available,” he stated.

Global economic challenges

Dr Kumah said Ghana was currently experiencing its fair share of the global economic challenges, which are manifested among other things, in high inflation, pressure on the currency and difficulties with raising adequate domestic revenue.

He said this situation had called for extraordinary measures instituted by government aimed at mitigating the depreciation of the Cedi, ensuring expenditure discipline, and providing relief in the face of the global fuel price hikes and inflation as well as ensuring that priority programmes meant to grow the economy are protected.

“These included; a 30 per cent cut in discretionary expenditure, a 50 per cent cut in fuel coupon allocations for all political appointees and Heads of government institutions, including SOEs, a complete moratorium on the purchase of imported vehicles for the rest of the year.

“Others include measures to eliminate “ghost” workers from the Government payroll by end of December 2022, reduce expenditure on all meetings and conferences by 50 per cent, pursue a comprehensive re-profiling strategy to reduce the interest expense burden on the fiscal,” he stated.