Accra, Jan. 16, GNA – Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Monday pledged to maintain a balance between revenue mobilisation and the reform agenda to ensure it achieved GH¢11,166.57 million target of returns for 2012.
Mr George Blankson, Commissioner-General of GRA who made the remarks at a press briefing in Accra added that the target was 28.3 per cent increase over that of the revenue accrued for 2011.
He said GRA’s target for tax revenue in 2011 was GH¢7,544.66 million adding that at the end of December 2011, the Authority had provisionally collected GH¢8,706.39 million, an amount that exceeded its target by 15.4 per cent.
Mr Blankson stated that revenue mobilisation performance for 2011 exceeded that of 2010 by 46.6 per cent, attributing the feat to a number of factors.
The factors, he said, included gains made in the reform for integration and modernisation, introduction of the Ghana Integrated Cargo Clearance System which helps track the location of goods at the ports, deployment and widening of the coverage of the Valuation Assurance Programme and streamlining of tax exemptions.
Others were establishment of the Rapid Deployment Force by the Customs Division of GRA, effective enforcement and debt management, effective implementation of initiatives announced in the 2011 budget including the airport tax, tax education and engagement with stakeholders across the country resulting in improved voluntary compliance.
Mr Blankson singled out the goodwill and support of taxpayers for commendation stressing it was a factor that contributed towards the “exceptional revenue performance for GRA in 2011.”
He gave the assurance that the broad-front revenue reform initiated with the passage of the GRA Act in 2009 remained on equal footing with revenue target realisation as the centre-piece of the Authority’s activities.
Mr Blankson said “The main thrust of the GRA’s modernisation programme involves redesigning and improving upon the Authority’s business processes and procedures, intensifying and expanding the use of Information and Technology to improve service delivery and constructively engaging all stakeholders in a manner that would yield sustained results and confidence in the country’s tax system.”
He said that reform process aimed at putting revenue collection on a higher growth path would be supported by short and medium term measures.
The measures include intensification of audit particularly of large taxpayers, effective tracking and interception of smuggled goods, regular inspection to ensure payment of taxes by operators in the informal sector and effective monitoring of the Customs Suspense regimes.
Speaking on the impact of Anas Aremeyaw Anas, an investigative journalist’s video that sought to expose corruption at the Tema Port, Major General Carl Modey, Commissioner of Customs Division (CD) of GRA, said there was no scientific research to measure the effect it had on their activities though he conceded that the expose served as a wakeup call.
He said technically speaking, the CD had been meeting its revenue collection target.
Major General Modey expressed the hope that personnel at the CD would be provided a new uniform to distinguish them from other services by March 6, 2012.