It has come to the notice of The Ghana Union of Traders Association(GUTA) that government intend removing the Benchmark Value Reduction of 50% that was introduced on some selected items.
We want to appeal to government that the 50% Reduction on the Benchmark Values is the last straw of hope that businesses are holding on in the wake of the outbreak of the covid 19 pandemic.
As you may be aware, world commodity prices have gone up astronomically as well as freight charges, prolonged shipment of goods and other related problems.
This has rendered businesses into near collapse and also led to the unbearable prices of goods in the market for the consuming public who are already suffering from the effects.
With regards to the selected items which include rice, edible oil, biscuits, frozen chicken and other food and essential commodities, we do not have self sufficiency and sustainability in the local production.
For us to surcharge and punish the final consumer who barely have sufficient and affordable alternative will not be fair and disastrous.
We admit that government need to increase her Revenue Mobilisation but this form will not succeed,
as it will rather induce smuggling and other unorthodox ways of clearing goods which has always impeded government from achieving her revenue targets.
We suggest that government should look at the abuse in the system of Warehousing, Goods in Transit, the Tax Exemption Policy and find innovative ways to monitor and control these areas which will definitely stop or minimise drastically the over excessive leakages in the system.
We will also encourage government to only shortlist these selected items to products that borders on Health and Security.
The time is not ripe for the reversal of this good and strategic policy when consumers are suffering due to the high level of prices of goods. Already prices have reached unbearable limits.
We hope government will listen to our plea and help to mitigate the plight of the Business Community as well as the Consuming public.
Dr Joseph Obeng
President of GUTA