Extend tax cuts to hospitality industry – EKGS director appeals

Ghana News

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The Director of EKGS Culinary Institute is appealing to government to extend tax cuts, announced for the other sectors of the economy, to the hospitality industry.

Efua Goode-Obeng Kyei said the industry makes such a huge contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country that it has to be aided to do more.

“I believe the culinary sector is key to solving the unemployment conundrum facing the country since it can offer training to young people for them to become employable in the hospitality industry,” she said.

Mrs Goode-Obeng made the appeal during the graduation of 105 students from the Institute last week. The students had training in Cake Making and Decorating (Sugarcraft), Pastry Art, Cookery Arts and Floral Décor.

Out of the 105 students, two are from Togo and a Nigeria.

The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government on March 2, announced the cancellation of eight taxes including duties on spare parts.

Many of these taxes were introduced by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government led by former President John Mahama.

“Some of these taxes have proven to be a nuisance,” Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta told lawmakers in March.

The one percent special levy, the 17.5% VAT on financial services, and 17.5% VAT on selected imported medicines were part of the eight taxes abolished by the government.

But none of the taxes imposed on the hospitality industry was tempered with by the new administration.

Mrs Goode-Obeng said the cancellation of some of the taxes placed on the culinary sector under the hospitality industry will engender growth if it is done.

She also decried the rate at which products that could have been manufactured in Ghana are imported largely from European countries and America.

“In my opinion, it does not make economic sense to use the scarce foreign exchange to import goods and equipment that can be produced locally,” she said.

Mrs Goode-Obeng said when local industries are empowered to produce more, they are able to employ more people which will also increase taxes paid to the state.

She implored the government to come up with a workable plan to deal with the situation of "unbridled importation of goods and equipment" in order to sanitise the situation to bolster the growth of local industries.