A Former Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper has said that the Nana Addo-led government must scrap the tolls of other porters in the country.
This follows the NPP government’s decision to remove the tolls paid by head potters also known as “Kayayei” at market places.
In an interview with Accra-based Citi FM Terkper said the move is not a fair one since truck pushers, sachet water sellers among other hawker’s still pay similar tolls.
The former minister said that although he was not against the kayayei toll exemption, he thinks “they [kayayei] are not the only category [of potters] and you [Finance Minister] may be using discriminatory tax approach.”
He questioned the rationale behind the removal of the toll.
“Is it just Kayayei or does it also cover truck pushers or if you go to the north does it cover those who are riding motorbikes, tricycles which is a form of portage and hackers? So Kayayei is just one form of portage. Is the minister saying that all these are going to be eliminated or is just the use of kayayei to gain some sympathy?”
“There are those who carry sachet water [on their heads] and risk their lives. Many of these are compelled to pay tolls because if you go to many district assemblies market tolls are their main source of IGF [Internally Generated Funds], apart from the district assembly common fund. So is the central government going to provide further support at a time we are also being told that the assemblies’ common fund is going to be paved for purposes of the [free] SHS? Are you going to look at the category of all those who are in all that group and come up with a package for them or are just something catchy to gain applause,” he added.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta during his presentation of the 2017 budget statement to Parliament on Thursday, March 2, 2017, disclosed that government had scrapped some taxes including the tolls paid by kayayei in the market.