The Minority in Parliament has raised concerns over government’s intention to approve Double Taxation Agreements with the Czech Republic, Morocco, Mauritius and Singapore which they claim were not in the interest of the country.
According to the Minority, Ghana would not benefit from the deal since the level of investments from those countries to Ghana were insignificant likewise investments of Ghanaian businesses to those four countries.
Mr Cassel Ato Forson, Ranking Member on Finance made the observation to the media in Parliament after the bill for the agreements was laid in the House.
A Double Taxation Agreement is an agreement which regulates the tax treatment of income or capital gains in situations where the same taxpayer is subject to tax in two states with respect to the same income or capital gains.
Mr Forson also alleged that countries like Singapore and Mauritius were tax havens for certain offshore businesses, who would like to invest in Ghana and later cream off the profits which he said would be to the disadvantage of the country.
He therefore questioned government’s motivation for rushing the bill to Parliament for approval when they had not estimated the fiscal cost of the agreement to the state and the assurance that Ghanaian businesses were going to benefit from those countries.
He said the agreements should not be undertaken for the interest of some few foreign businesses in the country who want to be exempted from paying taxes to the detriment of the country’s economy.
“I am very concerned that we are in hurry to approve four different double taxation agreements for this republic, is a bit too much and we would want to know the fiscal implications”.
Mr Forson also assured that in the coming days the Minority were going to scrutinise these double taxation agreements for the benefit of Ghanaians.
“If we are to conclude that the agreements are in the interest of this country, we will support the government to approve the bill, but if we are not convinced that they are in the interest of Ghana we would reject it” he added.