Consider us as an infant unit - Private vars plead with gov't
Posted on: 2013-Jul-22        
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Conference of Heads of Private Universities in Ghana (CHPUG) says government's decision to tax private universities will crush the institutions' expansion programmes.

According to Prof. Kwesi Yankah, Chairman for CHPUG, the private tertiary education "is an infant unit" which needs to be supported to grow and close the gap that has been left as a result of the few public tertiary institutions.

Until recently, private universities in Ghana were exempted from the payment of corporate tax in accordance with Section 10 (1d) of the Internal Revenue Act.

Government in May this year amended the Internal Revenue Act (Act 592) by Act 859, with the aim of bringing private universities into the tax net.

But speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show Monday, Prof. Yankah stated, a chunk of their profit goes into expansion projects therefore, asking them to pay tax at this crucial time, could be a disincentive.

About 50,000 students are currently studying with private tertiary institutions, representing close to 30% of general tertiary students' population in the country.

Prof. Yankah described as bad timing, the decision to withdraw their tax exempt status since the private institutions will be crucially needed to mop up student overflows from two streams of senior high school applicants this year.

He noted that despite being in existence for over 20 years, members of CHPUG do not have access to the GETFund, state scholarships, bursaries for staff capacity building, and state funding for research in programmes considered key in the nationís scheme of priorities.

He was optimistic however, that their plea for government to take a second look at the decision would yield some positive results.