The ad-hoc committee set up by the speaker of Parliament to probe the use of Covid-19 funds by government will start its public hearings from next week.

This was disclosed by the vice chairman of the committee and now minority leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson.

Speaker of Parliament set up the joint committee of finance and health to probe the Covid expenditure last year before the house went on recess after failure on the part of the minority to get the house to establish a bipartisan probe earlier.

Speaking during leadership engagement with the parliamentary press corps, Dr. Forson disclosed that Dr. Ayew Afriye chaired Committee will get to work soon.

“…The leadership of the committee met and we agreed that we’ll start the hearing beginning on the 15th of February 2023. So hopefully next week Wednesday we’ll start that probe and we should expect to hear from the chairman. Hon. Ayew Afriyie is the chairman of the committee so you’ll hear more from him when we start.”

Meanwhile, the Ajumako Enyan Essiam MP further disclosed his side will work towards assisting government in streamlining the tax exemption regime especially given the economic crisis the country is in.

“We believe that the time has come to pull the brakes on those tax exemptions and rake in enough revenue to support the fiscal and obviously the country, because we need every revenue to move the country forward. And so put it in perspective you’ll notice that the country has made a lot more progress on the tax exemptions than before and I can’t say that that is comfortable enough, I believe in continuous improvement so we will have to continuously identify the gaps we have in the tax regime and improve it going forward.

Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu agreed the exemptions regime must be relooked at “because a lot of people were also taking advantage of that regime to seek tax waivers that were not really helping the country.

He added: “The difficulty now is there are some outstanding imports that were occasioned especially those of them, the 1D1F, they are here, the imports have arrived and it was predicated on the old regime, and If you want to benchmark that on the law it becomes a difficulty, and so we may have to find a way to as it were get them out of it and then to make a determination that going forward those of them that have been post the passage of the exemption law strictly the exemption law will have to be applied. But those of them that are already in the system as I said at the instance of say 1D1F when there was no such it becomes difficult to apply because you may be applying the law retrospectively.”

Source: Ghana/ Fm