Business News of Wednesday, 16 May 2012
A National Taskforce inaugurated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to monitor activities in the retail business, has issued an ultimatum to foreigners in retail businesses to relocate or face the law.
Mr Kofi Larbi, Chairman of the Taskforce, who gave the ultimatum, said foreigners had been given three months to quit the designated markets by June 20.
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Law, Act 478, clause 18, says, "The sale of anything whatsoever in the market, petty trading, hawking or selling from a kiosk at any place is a wholly reserved activity for Ghanaians".
Mr Larbi said the task-force was in response to reports made by members of the Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) that some foreign investors and traders operating in the country were flouting the country's investment laws.
He alleged that those investors either had not registered their investments as required under the Act, or had done so but were not complying with stipulated conditions.
In addition, there had been claims that some foreigners have been evading the payment of taxes as well as flouting the country's employment regulations.
Mr Larbi noted that as the deadline approached, members of the task-force visited Accra Central Business Centre for observation.
Some areas visited include Tip-Toe Lane, Tudu, Abossey Okai, Malata Market, Rawlings Park, Opera Square and Zongo Lane.
Members of the task-force includes representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) , Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), GUTA and GIPC.
Mr Joseph Osei Agyemang, President of Tip Toe Lane Traders Association, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the activities of the foreigners had affected their businesses because most sell “fake products”.
He said most of them lure customers to buy their fake products resulting in problems for the association and hoped the task-force would help address these challenges.
Mr Agyemang appealed to members of GUTA and other stakeholders to team up with the task-force to ensure the success of the exercise.**