Senior Minister-designate, Yaw Osafo Maafo has said that the government will review its agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Mr. Osafo Maafo noted that the IMF programme needs to be reviewed due to some lapses he identifies with the programme. He made this statement when he appeared before the Parliamentary Appointments Committee on Friday, January 20, 2017. According to him, "there are two main reasons why the IMF programme must be reviewed; President Nana Akufo-Addo came out with a Manifesto and that Manifesto, he needs physical space to move it. The current programme literally squeezes all the physical space out and therefore from the point of view of the programme of the NPP, the IMF programme will be reviewed. (2) The IMF programme works along achieving targets. The targets are set between the government and the IMF. So far, most of the targets have been missed. Therefore, whether we even ask for it or not; the IMF will themselves want the programme reviewed." Also answering queries on taxation in the country, the Senior Minister-designate told the Committee that the government will also review some taxes in order to streamline the economy. Key among the taxes that will be reviewed, he said, is the 17.5% of Valued Added Taxes (VAT). He described that tax as "nuisance" and "unneccessary", adding that he will oversee the removal of the tax percentage. "There are some taxes I describe as nuisance tax because the efforts of even doing the collection is not worth it. You create hindrances in production. And one such tax is the financial sector VAT tax of 17 and half percent . . . To me, it's an unnecessary tax and we should do away with it. It means a nuisance tax." Mr. Osafo Maafo further threw light on his role as Senior Minister, explaining that he will play a coordinating function and assume an oversight responsibility over his colleague Ministers to ensure they focus and competently execute their duties to improve the economy. He also defended his credentials, stating emphatically that he's a faithful tax payer and ready to declare his assets the third time to prove his competence for the position of a Senior Minister. "I'm a very faithful tax payer. And on the declaration of assets, I've declared twice when I was Minister and MP, and I did both in and out. I'm sure one of the few who did it. I was one of these who were preaching the theory of declaring assets and making them public at the time . . . if your Committee confirms my appointment . . . I'll do it the third time," he told the committee.
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