The company responsible for clearing the energy sector debt, ESLA Plc has debunked reports by the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) that a total of 915 million cedis was not reported by government in 2016 and 2017 petroleum revenue receipt.
The chamber last week alleged in its 2017 industry report that government failed to account for 576.63 million cedis in 2016, and 339.16 million cedis in 2017.
But in release copied to Citi Business News, ESLA Plc stated that the chamber got its computations wrong.
According to ESLA Plc, the gross volumes, which formed the basis of computations used by the CBOD, were based on the Oil Marketing Companies Performance statistics report published by the National Petroleum Authority.
It maintained that “whilst the data accurately reflects volumes of petroleum products consumed, they cannot in their entirety be used for the computation of taxes and levies as they do not discount the volume of petroleum products that are eligible for levy and tax exemptions by law”.
It continued that “quite a number of institutions benefit from levy and tax exemptions and these include some mining companies, some thermal power producing companies, some state agencies and some embassies, amongst others”.
The statement assured that E.S.L.A plc, working together with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Finance, monitors the volume of petroleum products that benefit from levy and tax exemptions in order to ensure that the appropriate levies are collected from Oil Marketing Companies.
It pointed out that The Annual Report on Management of the Energy sector Levies and Accounts for the year 2017 submitted to parliament by the Minister of Finance disclosed accurate data on ESLA levies collected for each period, net of tax exemptions.
Responding to the issue of the revenue leakages, the statement explained that the GRA and NPA have continue to undertake various actions to address the issues of revenue leakages.
It cited for example that the measures put in place such as the review of Export Guidelines to include requiring exporters to deposit guarantee bonds with face value equal to the tax that should have been paid on export products has greatly blocked some of the leakages.
“This has significantly reduced the number of companies exporting petroleum products and the volumes of exports reported, resulting in reduction in the incidence of fuel dumping,” it said.
“In addition, government decision to impose full taxes on Marine Gas Oil foreign petroleum product in January 2018 has drastically reduced MGO foreign monthly volumes,” it added.
It explained that the cash flow projections used in the ESLA prospectus did not include the potential growth in ESLA receivables, which will accrue from measures that have been put in place to address revenue leakages.
“The additional cash accruing from these measures will be transferred into the Lockbox for the benefit of bond holders”.