By; Austin Ofori Addo:
The General Agricultural Workers Union, GAWU has described a newly introduced 12.5% corporate tax on agro processing enterprises in the rural areas as inimical to the development of agriculture in Ghana. Speaking to Mr. Kinsley Offei Nkansah who is the General Secretary of GAWU, he expressed worry over government’s intention to introduce taxes on agribusinesses located in the rural areas especially at a time when the agricultural sector is going through a lot of challenges.
Mr. Nkansah wondered why government has not held any consultations with stakeholders to deliberate on the issue in order to agree on what will be in the best interest of the agribusiness community.
‘Under these circumstances, we have a situation where 12.5% of tax is being applied on rural farmers, a situation which did not exist in the past,’ Mr. Nkansah noted. This he lamented encouraged rural farmers to go more into farming which was a way of generating employment and increasing the income level among them.
He was emphatic that helped in dealing with poverty as well as improving farming in the rural areas and so the 12.5% being slapped on agribusiness creates the impression that the government did not care about the poor rural farmer.
Mr. Nkansah sympathized with companies which he said paid high water and electricity tariffs, adding that such companies were already cringing under the present circumstances. According to him, the world markets are not good either and so introducing corporate taxes to such businesses at this time was pushing companies to the wall, with the threat of working people losing their work.
He advocated for conducive conditions for the sector since agric records low growth rate, rather than making things difficult for people to invest in it.