July 31, 2014

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre has appeared before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade and Industry to explain its position on the alleged granting of millions of “fraudulent” tax exemptions to Rlg Communications Limited.

This was after New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng, argued that RLG secured such exemptions in violation of the law because as an assembling firm it did not qualify for tax reliefs granted a manufaturer.

He had alleged that “it is entirely likely that government officials, influenced by private businesses, would allow such dubious tax concessions in order to claim their share of the ill gains later”.

Kwaku Kwarteng said he was surprised that despite a statement by the Ghana Revenue Authority RLG did not qualify for the tax exemptions it was enjoying, the IT firm was still granted same.

However, on Wednesday Chief Executive Officer of GIPC, Mawuena Treba, mounted a strong defense before the parliamentary select committee on trade and industry, promising a comprehensive audit of the exemptions granted the local technology firm would be carried out.

Mrs Treba was emphatic the GIPC board will deliberately go out to verify the claims made by RLG based on which the exemptions were granted.

She also said alhough the tax exemptions to RLG were granted by her predecessor, she is confident stringent checks were made before the decision was taken.

But speaking on Top Story Wednesday, Kwaku Kwarteng said the GIPC boss had no business responding to the matter in the first place.

“GIPC does not have the mandate to grant tax exemptions”, he reiterated.

He said the Commissioner General Department of the GRA should be answering questions regarding how RLG came to be granted tax exemptions reserved for manufactures.

He admonished the Finance Ministry and the Commissioner General Department to look into the matter, adding that the seeming lax by the two institutions to probe the matter may be because of control from higher authorities.

The NPP MP said he is hopeful the two institutions will see reason and give the matter the needed attention.

RLG has also responded to the claims being made by Mr Kwaku Kwarteng.

According to the local IT firm, on March 5, 2013, the company made changes to its business registration documents at the Registrar General’s Department to include manufacturing of phones, computers etc, indicating allegations that it enjoying tax exemptions fraudulently are untrue.