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General News
$42 Million Monthly On Emergency Power Plants 7/19/2007
The Volta River Authority (VRA) spends about 42 million dollars monthly on fuel to power emergency power plants generating electricity during the power crisis the country is experiencing. Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning disclosed this on Wednesday at a ceremony to inaugurate the Value Added Tax (VAT) sub-office at Madina in Accra.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Baah-Wiredu said government was aware of the impact of the current load management exercise on industry, adding that additional funds had been released to the Ministry of Energy to provide emergency power plants to augment the Akosombo and the Aboadze thermal plant.

He said the supplementary budget to be presented to Parliament for approval would seek to further allocate more funds to the energy sector to ensure that the current load management exercise did not recur in future. He added that there was urgent need for revenue services to improve tax collecting capacity to support "this urgent and very important need".

Mr. Baah-Wiredu said government recognised the role of tax payers as partners in generating revenue for development and that there was the need to provide offices that could provide excellent client services to the public to improve service delivery.

He said the Tax Arbitration Board under the Revenue Agencies Governing Board provided avenues to businesses which were dissatisfied with the rulings of various revenue institutions to appeal for their cases to be resolved. The Minister expressed the hope that the new VAT sub-office in the area would provide opportunities for businesses to readily obtain information and also produce fast and effective delivery in the collection of taxes.

Mr Anthony Ewereko Minlah, VAT Commissioner, said the Service was implementing internal measures to improve service delivery and deal with corruption which required the support of the business community in a multi-stakeholder approach.

Mr. Minlah said the VAT Service would introduce the VAT Flat Rate Scheme, which would operate at a marginal flat rate of three per cent. He said the establishment of the Madina sub-office reflected the determination of the VAT Service to extend its services to the doorstep of businesses and reduce compliance cost. Mr. Victor Obeng Ampah, Madina Branch Manager of VAT, said the office collected 12 billion cedis within the four months of its operation and it had targeted 30 billion a month as the tax net had presently covered 50 per cent of traders in Madina and its environs.
Source: GNA

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