07 October 2013, Accra – The Centre for Public Interest Law, CEPIL, at the weekend accused the Ghanaian government of violating certain aspects of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, especially, with regards to the 2013 Budget.
Mr. Mohammed Amin Adams, Consultant to CEPIL who presented findings of a report to that effect, said the 2013 Budget did not capture the capital gains tax as one of the revenue streams from the $500 million Sabre Oil and Gas acquisition by PetroSA.
He said capital gains tax was a kind of income tax collected when one company sells, for instance, its assets higher than it was bought or acquired.
Mr. Amin Adams said Ghana could gain about $50 million if it had captured the capital gains tax in the 2013 Budget. He said the revenue generated from oil production was managed under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 (Act 815), which provided a framework for revenue inflows and outflows.
The law, he said, also established the Public Interest and Accountability Committee, which had the mandate to exercise independent oversight over the management of petroleum revenues.
He noted that the committee had already issued two important reports, which highlighted violations of the law.
“Government has taken some actions to address these reported violations, but this is no guarantee that further violations of the law may not occur,” he added.
Mr. Amin Adams, who is also the Chief Executive of the African Centre for Energy Policy, said the determination of a Benchmark Revenue had not been certified by an independent certifier, as the law required.
He therefore urged the government to, as a matter of urgency, appoint an independent certifier to certify the expected revenue for the 2014 fiscal year, or else civil society organisations should pursue legal redress to compel the government to seek independent certification of the Benchmark Revenue.
He also called on the government to regularise its plan to use part of the Annual Budget funding to create an Infrastructure Fund, by seeking an amendment to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act.
– The Chronicle