The Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will finance the Free Senior High School programme with the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA), Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, has revealed.
He told parliament during the presentation of the 2017 budget on Thursday, 2 March: “Mr Speaker, adequate provisions have been made for the funding of this monumental social intervention programme, which is said to begin in September 2017 from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) and other domestic revenue sources.”
It would be recalled that there was public uproar when Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo gave an indication that the government was going to finance the programme with the Heritage Fund, a fund into which a fraction of the petroleum proceeds are deposited for the unborn generation.
However, Mr Ofori-Atta has stated that the government will not use the Heritage Fund, as it would fall on ABFA and other domestic revenue sources.
The minister further announced the scrapping of excise duty on petroleum products. In addition to abolishing excise duty on petroleum products, the government also intends to reduce the special petroleum tax rate from 17.5% to 15%.
Additionally, other taxes will either be abolished completely or reduced to create a conducive business environment.
Those to be abolished, according to Mr Ofori-Atta, are:
1. The 1% special import levy
2. The 17.5% VAT on financial services
3. The 17.5% VAT on selected imported medicines not produced locally
4. The 17.5% VAT on domestic airline tickets
5. The 5% VAT on real estate sales
6. Duty on importation of spare parts
7. Kayayei market toll
Additionally, Mr Ofori-Atta said the Akufo-Addo government would initiate steps to remove import duties on raw materials and machinery for production.