VAT on electricity: Politically connected transactions inflate costs for Ghanaians – Bokpin

A Professor of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School, Godfred Bokpin, has attributed the revenue shortfalls, particularly in the energy sector to the frequent political transactions shrouded in secrecy.

According to the economist, there is a staggering annual revenue shortfall of GH₵23 billion in the energy sector in the country and until the root causes are addressed, no new tax policy can be its panacea.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, the Professor said political influence and opaque procurement processes are the key impediments to the country’s inability to generate enough revenue.

“The problem is that politically connected transactions, inflate cost on the average Ghanaian and if we continue like that it doesn’t matter the level of adjustments there will always be losses,” he said on Monday.

His assertions come in the wake of the government’s decision to impose a 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on residential electricity consumption.

Professor Bokpin further cautioned against the imposition of a 15% VAT on electricity as a panacea for the sector’s woes.

He stressed that such measures would only serve as temporary fixes, failing to address the underlying issues of revenue generation.

The economist believed that should the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) operate independently and free from political interference, that can be realised.

On the same show, the Deputy Secretary General of TUC, Joshua Ansah, believed that this required a change of lifestyle on the part of the government.

He told host Evans Mensah that if the government manages it funds judiciously, then the country’s economy would not have taken a nosedive for it to seek assistance from international bodies.


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