Title: Minority Leader Criticizes Tax Waivers on Electric Vehicle Imports in Ghana’s 2024 Budget
The Minority Leader in Ghana’s Parliament, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, has expressed his disapproval of the tax reliefs announced in the government’s 2024 Budget and Economic Policy. Specifically, he criticized the government’s decision to waive import duties on electric vehicles (EVs), describing it as “useless.” Dr Forson argued that the lack of affordable EVs and sufficient charging infrastructure in the country makes this tax waiver ineffective in benefiting Ghanaians.
Empty Budget Statement:
During an interview with Accra-based JoyNews, Dr Ato Forson labeled the entire budget statement as empty, stating that the tax reliefs outlined in the budget will not provide any relief for Ghanaians. He emphasized that the government’s focus on waiving import duties on EVs is misplaced, considering the limited number of electric vehicles in the country and the scarcity of charging ports.
Lack of Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure:
The Minority Leader questioned the feasibility of the tax exemption for EVs, highlighting the low adoption rate of electric cars in Ghana. He pointed out that the country is still grappling with power supply issues, making it difficult to support the charging requirements of electric vehicles. Dr Forson also mentioned that he, as an MP, is not aware of any individual or public transport company that owns an electric vehicle.
Enabling Environment for Electric Vehicles:
Dr Ato Forson stressed the need for the government to prioritize creating an enabling environment for electric vehicles before offering tax waivers. He stated that access to charging ports should be the primary focus, as without an adequate charging infrastructure, owning an electric vehicle becomes impractical. He posed the question of where one could charge their electric vehicle while traveling to remote areas where charging stations are scarce.
Future Energy Transition Efforts:
While acknowledging that the EV policy may be aimed at future energy transition efforts, Dr Forson highlighted the lack of immediate benefits for ordinary Ghanaians. He urged the government to shift its focus towards creating an environment that supports the adoption of electric vehicles, rather than offering tax exemptions that currently have limited impact.
The Minority Leader’s criticism of the tax waivers on electric vehicle imports in Ghana’s 2024 Budget raises valid concerns about the feasibility and practicality of such incentives. With a low adoption rate of electric cars and a lack of charging infrastructure, the tax exemptions may not provide significant benefits to Ghanaians in the short term. Dr Ato Forson emphasized the need for the government to prioritize creating an enabling environment for electric vehicles before implementing tax waivers, focusing on the availability of charging ports across the country.
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