The President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG), Mr Christian Sottie, has urged accountants to keep to the tenets of their profession in the interest of national development.
He further advised them to shun all forms of corrupt practices and maintain sound financial management in both public and private institutions.
At the 2017 edition of the annual presidential luncheon of the ICAG in Accra yesterday, Mr Sottie said professional accountants should always be mindful of the critical role they played in national development by upholding integrity in the discharge of their duties.
The luncheon was on the theme, “Government’s subsidies and market interventions; the strategic approach to economic development.”
It brought together more than 400 chartered accountants, employers, government officials and captains of industry and other participants.
He said the presidential luncheon had been institutionalised to create a platform for professional accountants to interact with their employers and clients in a congenial atmosphere outside the office environment to discuss issues of mutual and national benefits.
Mr Sottie described the various tax cuts and subsidies in the 2017 budget as an indication of the government’s commitment to its vision of creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
“Most of the developed economies that we admire today enjoy a lot of tax exemptions or reliefs, making the movement of goods and services cheaper and this goes a long way to determine reasonable prices of goods and services,” he said.
He was of the opinion that the cost of doing business in Ghana had to be regulated by the government to grow the economy and be able to compete with the developed world.
The President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr James Asare-Adjei, in his keynote address, said the successes of a number of the world’s leading economies were propelled by government subsidies and market interventions.
However, he was of the opinion that the abuse, misuse and the lack of monitoring to ensure strict compliance with market economy interventions, such as investment incentives, could cripple the local economy.
“Unfortunately, many indigenous companies do not benefit from these investment incentives and subsidies, which is a major concern,” he said.
Mr Asare-Adjei said the AGI was of the belief that the government had to re-prioritise some of these market economy interventions such as free zoning and other tax incentives, relief and subsidies to the benefit of local businesses.
“If the government subsidies local business, profits will increase, business can expand and the prospects for job creation will increase,” he said,
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Universal Merchant Bank, Mr John Awuah, said although the government’s interventions in the market economy had been debated over the years, the impact such interventions had had on some leading economies worldwide was an indication that such interventions were critical to economic development.