In order for government to achieve its set revenue target for the year 2021, it must ensure the automation of all domestic revenue mobilization streams.
This is according to Professor Peter Quartey, the Head of Economics Department, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana.
According to him, ensuring efficiency in tax collation through digitisation and limiting human interface or discretion was the surest way to prevent revenue leakages and avoid corruption.
Prof Quartey stated that avenues such as the country’s various road tolls should be automated because tax efficiency was very critical in national development and also to help the government achieve its stated revenue target of GHS72.4 billion for the year 2021.
“If you drive through most of our road tolls you see that the process is manual. People take the monies and as a driver, either you decide to take the receipt or leave it and that to me is not proper because I believe half of the monies we pay do not end up in government coffers. We should shift away from that process and move to automation,” he said.
He added that: “I can refer you to the University of Ghana toll booth. When you get there, you show your card it opens for you to exit. You pay in advance. Once you get your card, you have front-loaded your payment, so government can use that money to do its business, and it will also minimize the human interface. Also, with automation, any vehicle that goes through is counted and the money is taken, you can either buy an e-pass, and you pay for a month or a year.
He made the comments at the sidelines of a virtual seminar on the National 2021 budget organised by the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with KPMG, JoyBusiness, Bank of Africa, McDan Group, GhanaWeb, and Business24.
It was on the theme: “2021 National Budget: Prospects for Recovery, Resilience and Competitiveness for Private Sector Growth.”
Government is highly expectant of a rebound in economic activity, following the target it has set for itself.
Some of the taxes introduced in the 2021 budget presented to Parliament last Friday include a COVID-19 levy of 2 percent, financial sector clean up levy of 5 percent, a sanitation and pollution levy as well as an Energy sector levy of 10 and 20 pesewas per litre of fuel respectively.