Parliament has approved a request to waive import duties, import VAT, GETfund levy, import NHIL, Exim levy and other imposts amounting to US$222,151 on equipment to be procured by Yedent Agro-Processing Company Limited.
The waiver of the taxes on the equipment to be acquired by the company is in line with government’s policy under the implementation of the One District, One Factory (1D1F) programme.
Dr Mark Osei-Assibey, Chairman of the Finance Committee, presenting the Committee’s report observed that Yedent Agro-Processing Company, established in 2011, is a leading agro-processor of grains in the country with a track record in processing blended fortified products like Maisoyforte and Tomvita, maize flavour, bran for feed for the poultry and livestock among others.
He said the company applied for government support in the area of tax waiver under the 1D1F programme to enable it to procure a new processing plant with diversified capabilities to significantly enhance its operations.
He said the Ministry of Trade and Industry also accessed the company and granted it a 1D1F status, which would enable it to benefit from the tax waiver incentives under the programme.
Also, the company intends to expand and diversify its operations by investing in a new processing plant with varied capabilities to significantly enhance its installed capacity to produce super cereals, maize meal, super cereal plus, composite flour, grits and animal feed, among others, using local inputs sourced from mainly local farmers.
The Finance Committee Chairman said the overall aim of the company is to consolidate its business with the World Food Programme and establish alternative distribution channels in the retail market segment of the company’s operations and take full advantage of the opportunities within the bulk segment.
He said the company also wants to sustain its growth and improve its cash-flow and profitability.
Mr Benjamin Kpodo, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ho Central in his comment expressed concern about the government’s tax waiver to the company, which he said had created revenue losses for the country.
He said Yedent Agro-Processing Company which was established in 2011 is an old company and as such cannot be classified as part of the 1D1F programme, and let alone benefit from such tax incentives.
“If we really want to encourage factories to be established in every district, we should establish new companies as envisaged under the 1D1F programmes, that is what we were told”
Mr Kwaku Kwarteng, Deputy Minister of Finance in his remark stated that the 1D1F is a government initiative that seeks to ensure that industrialization is evenly spread across the entire country.
He said to do this, the government should not only help new companies or activity to rise up but also take steps to support existing industrial activity that needs help, which is what they are seeking to do.
“So the suggestion that these companies already exist therefore we should not consider them under the 1D1F initiative is to misunderstand the policy”
Mr Kwaku Kwarteng also debunked claims by Mr Kpodo that the government had failed to build new companies under the 1D1F programme and was rather reviving the old factories instead.
He explained that in terms of year-on year-growth the revenue had been doing well especially compared with recent years, adding that, the target had been ambitious over the period.
He, however, said the government’s strategy was to open up economic activity by granting these reliefs to the companies that are in a position to expand, employ more people and to pay more taxes.
Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, MP for Ellembelle, in his comment, questioned whether government’s objective under the 1D1F, which is to create jobs for the people had changed to reviving dying companies.
He said the government must identify companies that are aligned with the objectives of the 1D1F, adding that, what was promised was to speed up industrialization and generate employment.
He said state resources should not be used to revive a company that had been mismanaged, dying and has no future to create jobs for the people.