The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has revealed that tax defaulters in the country will no longer have a field day or a place to hide anymore beginning next year, as the Special Prosecutor, Martin A. B. K. Amidu has been fully resourced to go after them.
According to Mr. Ofori-Atta, so much has been given to the Office of the Special Prosecutor in the 2019 Budget that the nation will be banking its hopes on Martin Amidu to lead its revenue mobiliSation drive.
“Even as you sit in your own office or your little corner as a civil servant, you know Martin Amidu might be breathing behind your neck; so, we are truly excited for the future,” he told Members of Parliament at the 2019 post-budget workshop at Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
“Therefore, whether you are a civil servant, a public servant or an ordinary Ghanaian with a tax obligation, once you default, Martin Amidu will come after you,” he added.
He stated: “The area where we are going to need your help is the issue of domestic revenue mobilisation, which means that what we will do with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is a much more positive and aggressive collection of property taxes among others.
“What do we do with corruption and leakages? That is why we’ve put in so much money behind Martin Amidu to make sure we begin to change the sense of profligacy and impunity.”
A total amount of GH₵180million has been allocated to the Office of the Special Prosecutor in the 2019 Budget, with a commitment to provide additional resources during the course of the year to enable it carry out its mandate.
Presenting the 2019 Budget and Economic Policy statement of the Government of Ghana on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, November 15, 2018, Mr. Ofori-Atta reminded the citizenry about their responsibilities in a Ghana Beyond Aid, and the need to find innovative ways to widen the country’s tax net and bring in the huge informal sector.
“We as Ghanaians need to engage in a social compact with government, whereby we all play a role. A partnership wherein government makes a commitment to provide the citizenry with basic social interventions and services to improve the livelihood of our people, and to educate our youth who are Ghana’s future. In exchange, government expects the citizenry to play their part by registering for TIN numbers, paying their taxes, keeping their environment clean, reducing waste and being their brother’s keeper,” he noted.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor, established by Act 2017 (Act 959) as a specialised agency, was set up to investigate specific cases of corruption involving public officers and politically exposed persons in the performance of their functions, as well as persons in the private sector implicated in the commission of corruption – and to prosecute these offences on the authority of the Attorney-General and provide for related matters.