A former Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffour has advised the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to explore opportunities in the extractive industry as part of ways of raising revenue for the state and managing the country’s public debt situation.
This approach, Dr Duffour believes will significantly bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure.
Dr Duffour’s comment was a reaction to a question posed by host Kojo Yankson of the Super Morning Show, on how the government is raising revenue to run the state, during an exclusive interview on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
It will be recalled that during the 2022 budget reading, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta announced a couple of measures government intends to use to raise revenue for the state.
The policies included the electronic levy (e-levy) which he stated will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, road infrastructure, among others.
Dr Duffour believes leveraging on the extractive industry is a better option than taxing electronic transactions.
“I would have looked at the extractive industries: the minerals, the mining, and the oil and gas industry. I think we can have a deal with them,” he said.
Commenting on the country’s economic situation, Dr Duffour stated that there were challenges and a huge gap between revenue and expenditure, and to overturn the current narrative, he urged the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to pay attention to the country’s extractive sector as part of ways to generate revenue.
He also said the government should invest highly in the said sector as it is being done in Botswana and other countries.
“Botswana lives on diamonds mainly and their diamond reserves are not bigger than our gold reserves at all. But Botswana raked in almost 4billion dollars every year from their diamonds because of the module they have.
“Government should look at acquiring more shares in the mining and oil industries. They can sit down with the players in the mining industry and renegotiate,” he added.
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