Accra, Nov. 15, GNA – Mr Thomas Mills, Leader of the Anti-revenue Leakages Special Monitoring Team of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), on Monday declared war on importers and revenue collectors, whose illegal activities cost the State millions of cedis.
He listed some of the irregularities as illegal rice importation and registration of uncustomed vehicles.
Mr Mills who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said other anti-revenue activities include non-compliance of the issuing of Value Added Tax invoices by some corporate entities.
He said some revenue agencies also under value import duties.
Mr Mills noted that revenue is the life wire of every nation and therefore strict punishment would be melted out against people whose actions lead to the loss of the proceeds.
He called on the public to check revenue leakages by volunteering information on the activities of the miscreants.
He said the team would be tough on those who engage in such nefarious activities.
“Personnel who undervalue goods for their own interest would have themselves to blame if they are caught.
He said the team is stepping up the fight against revenue leakages, through collaboration with the public and the Revenue Protection Information Bureau, to be created under the Revenue Protection Unit of the GRA.
This he said would bring the operations of the team to the doorstep of the people and enable free flow of information.
Mr Mills said the fight against revenue leakages is the collective responsibility of all Ghanaians.
“Do you want to hear the good news first, or the bad news first?”
The above is good news. The bad news with reference to the smuggling of rice (the BIG issue) is that this alone is not the total solution. FSG has on more than one occassion mentioned that the solution must involve various sectors such as Finance (including CEPS), Food and Agriculture, Interior (security services), Trade and Industry and probably Foreign affairs. The key issues at stake are:
1. High tariff differentials between Ghana (37%) and Ivory Coast (12.5%) – the main incentive for smuggling, and
2. Consumer suffering due to high prices – High import tariffs in the light of the fact that Ghana is only 30% self-sufficient.
The bad news, therefore, is that the rice smuggling will continue with adverse effects on consumers, local producers, legal importers and government.