Minority Leader in Parliament, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, has rendered certain tax reliefs outlined in the government’s 2024 Budget and Economic Policy useless.
He contends that some of the specified tax reliefs will not provide substantial relief to Ghanaians, characterizing the entire budget statement as lacking substance after its presentation on the floor of parliament on November 15, 2023.
In an interview on JoyNews, Dr. Ato Forson specifically labeled the government’s initiative to waive import duties on electric vehicles as ‘useless.’
He argued that the majority of Ghanaians cannot afford to use electric vehicles, coupled with a scarcity of electric charging infrastructure in the country.
“Let me make this point, I don’t know how many vehicles in Ghana are electric. Where are the charging ports? How many Ghanaians will benefit from it? Useless” the Minority Leader stated.
“It is to encourage the use of semi-knocked-down electric cars. We live in an economy that we are even struggling to get power. How many cars in Ghana today are electric for them to say that we are giving tax exemption for electric cars? I don’t know if you own an electric car, I don’t own one. And go out and find out from people. As an MP, I don’t know of any individual or public transport that owns electric vehicles,” the lawmaker reiterated.
Despite the fact that the EV policy is dependent on future energy transition initiatives, he emphasized that many Ghanaians are unlikely to gain from the change, so it may not be beneficial in the near run.
“So, it is looking at the future probably but is not giving something presently to the ordinary Ghanaian. What the government must do first of all is to create an enabling environment for electric vehicles. This [Tax waiver] is not. The one to create the enabling environment will be access to charging ports,” Dr Ato Forson said.
“…So, if I bring an electric vehicle here to start using it when I travel to Ajumako and for some reason I need to charge my vehicle, where are the charging ports? Which fuel station can I park in and charge my electric vehicle?” the MP questioned.