PwC showers priases on Gov’ts 2017 budget, describes it as business friendly

Accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has described the 2017 budget of President Akufo-Addo as a business-friendly document.

According to PwC, the current budget which was described by the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta as the “Asempa budget” would aid growth of businesses.

Mr. Ofori-Atta, presenting the first budget of the Akufo-Addo regime, announced the government’s decision to abolish some taxes which included the one per cent special import levy, the 17.5 per cent VAT/NHIL on financial services, the 17.5 per cent VAT/NHIL on selected imported medicines that are not locally produced.

Others include the 17.5 per cent on domestic airline tickets, the 5 per cent on real estate sales, excise duty on petroleum, reduce special petroleum tax rate from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent, abolishment of duty on spare parts, among others.

The move some industry players and business associations welcomed and described as a step in the right direction suggesting that, it would lead to reducing the cost of doing business for the private sector and lead to the creation of more jobs.

Speaking to the thebftonline.com at the sidelines of the PwC’s post budget 2017 analysis programme, the Senior country partner of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Vish Ashiagbor said, the budget was exactly what was needed to stimulate growth.

“Clearly is a business-friendly budget in the sense that, apart from the popular things that everyone talks about, like the abolishing of some taxes and so on, I think it does have some elements of support for the private sector, especially industry. It’s also actually does open a lot of opportunities for the private sector to take the lead. What the budget seeks to do as we understand it, is to deal with some of the structural challenges that stops the private sector from coming forward in a very effective manner.”

“So, for example if you look at some of the initiatives around the banking sector, capital markets, around industrialization and around education, all those things would ultimately empower the private sector to step forward and take on the lead role in driving the economy. These things are not new as we have spoken about them quite frankly in the last years but I think this budget begins to layout some details as to how we can accomplish these,” he added.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant told the thebftonline.com that, the budget was a well thought out one which would address the challenges of the country.

“The budget will significantly repair some of the ills we have in the country and also set the agenda for growth and wealth creation,” he stated.

This he said would be done by easing the cost of doing business and making the ease of doing business even much better than before.

“This is the sort of confidence you need to give to the people. This government is serious about what it says and we are starting most of our initiatives now.”

In view of that, the GIPC plans to attract some GH¢5 billion in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in 2017.

The, target the GIPC intends to achieve by embarking on an aggressive local and foreign investment campaign which will see big industry players coming to invest in the country.

**Mpactglobal: Brilliance Gyekye

(The Business and Financial Times contributed to this story)
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