Stabilization Levy, 2% Special Import Levy laid before parliament

The National Fiscal Stabilization Levy Bill and the Special Import Levy Bill announced in the 2018 budget presented before the House by the Finance Minister has been laid before parliament.

Prior to the budget presentation, businesses expected that the two levies will be scrapped, complaining that it increased their cost of operations.

The levies were introduced to provide some funds for government under the John Mahama administration and was scheduled to end this year.

But speaking to Citi Business News after the bills were passed, the Chairman of the Finance Committee of parliament Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah explained that government deemed it fit to extend the bills by two years.

“The government thinks it is proper to extend the National Fiscal Stabilization Levy. That’s why we have this amendment. The amendment seeks to extend it to 2019. The government felt at the time in 2013 to introduce the levy because of the hardship [economic downturn], so they needed some sectors of the economy to support government”

He pointed out that the levy was slapped on some selected areas under the services sector.

“Banks, telcos, breweries, non-bank financial intuitions, to pay 5 percent of profit before tax to government”.

He added that “It was to sunset in 2017, but it’s been extended for two more years. Same with the two percent special import levy. You recall that we abolish the one percent special import levy, but now we want to extend the 2 percent”.