Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2019 Budget statement to Parliament amidst boos and skepticism from especially minority members in Parliament.
As expected, Mr. Ofori-Atta was clad in his all white apparel as has become custom of the Finance Minister.
The budget, themed; “A Stronger Economy, for Jobs and Prosperity” highlighted key achievements of the Akufo-Addo administration in the past year albeit a few setbacks.
With a pinch of humour the Finance Minister underscored former Power Minister Ras Mubarak for ditching his gas guzzling Toyota Land Cruiser to ride bicycle to Parliament as campaign for a cleaner environment.
Key among the issues addressed by Mr. Ofori Atta included the exit strategy of Ghana from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by close of the year. He also listed the following achievements within the 22 months of the Akufo-Addo government;
“-Abolished excise duty on petroleum; ? Reduced special petroleum tax rate from 17.5 percent to 15.0 percent and further reduced to 13 percent, converted from ad valorem to specific tax. In fact, it is important to note that petroleum taxes as a percentage of the total price build up for petroleum prices has reduced from 40.0 percent in March 2017 to 26.0 percent today;
-We abolished levies imposed on ‘kayayei’ by local authorities;
-Abolished the 1 percent Special Import Levy;
-Abolished the 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on domestic airline tickets;
-Abolished the 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on financial services;
-Abolished the 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on selected imported medicines, that are not produced locally;
-Abolished the 5.0 percent VAT/NHIL on Real Estate sales;
-Abolished import duty on the importation of spare parts;
-Reduced National Electrification Scheme Levy from 5.0 percent to 2.0 percent and
-Reduced Public Lighting Levy from 5.0 percent to 3.0 percent.”