The Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has continued his bastardization of the government’s 2024 budget statement describing some of the tax waivers as useless, after tagging the general statement as empty.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta during his presentation of the 2024 budget statement in Parliament last week Wednesday announced some measures to cushion Ghanaians.
Some reliefs prioritized by the government include the extension of the zero rates of VAT on locally manufactured African prints, removal of taxes on locally produced sanitary pads and locally assembled vehicles, as well as waivers on import duties for electric vehicles and agricultural machinery.
To address environmental concerns, Mr Ofori-Atta also announced the government’s plan to expand the Environmental Excise Duty to cover plastic packaging, industrial emissions, and vehicle emissions.
But speaking on the Monday edition of PM Express on JoyNews, the Ajumako Enyan-Essiam MP, who analyzed each of the tax reliefs announced in the budget, singled out the waiver on import duties for electric vehicles describing it as useless.
In the view of the MP, only a handful of Ghanaians use electric vehicles in the country, while there are very few electric charging ports for users.
“Let me make this point, I don’t know how many vehicles in Ghana are electric. Where are the charging ports? How many Ghanaians will benefit from it? Useless “he stated.
It is to encourage the use of semi-knocked-down electric cars. We live in an economy that we are even struggling to get power. How many cars in Ghana today are electric for them to say that we are giving tax exemption for electric cars? I don’t know if you own an electric car, I don’t own one. And go out and find out from people. As an MP, I don’t know of any individual or public transport that owns electric vehicles” he reiterated.
The MP told the Host Evans Mensah, that while the policy may be in anticipation of a shift in the future, it does not serve any useful purpose now and will not benefit Ghanaians in any way.
He said the government must first focus on creating the enabling environment for the use of electric vehicles before jumping the gun.
“So, it is looking at the future probably but is not giving something presently to the ordinary Ghanaian. What the government must do first of all is to create an enabling environment for electric vehicles. This [Tax waiver] is not. The one to create the enabling environment will be access to charging ports.
So if I bring an electric vehicle here to start using it when I travel to Ajumako and for some reason I need to charge my vehicle, where are the charging ports? Which fuel station can I park in and charge my electric vehicle?” the MP quizzed.
If all of them are not available and you start saying that you are giving exemptions for the person who brings the vehicle, I need to use the vehicle here in Ghana to be sure that I can use it first. The government is doing the reverse because it is out of touch with the realities on the ground” he argued.
“What we need first is to, create the environment for some fuel stations to convert the pumps into charging points, and create the environment for the ordinary Ghanaian to be able to benefit from it” he argued.
In September 2023, the Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, disclosed that the government is working on a policy framework to move public transportation from a dependence on petroleum fuels to electric vehicles.[embedded content]
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