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General News of Friday, 16 December 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Outgoing NDC gov't accuses Abossey Okai traders of sabotage

The National Democratic Congress is accusing spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai in Accra of either sabotaging the outgoing Mahama administration or exploiting patrons of their products.

A Member of Parliament's Finance Committee James Avedzi does not understand why the traders will cut prices of their products by as much as 30% a week after his party has lost power.

He told Joy News' Evans Mensah that while the conduct of the traders is still open for investigation, he suspects they were out to sabotage the government than exploit consumers.

Traders at the country's spare parts hub have announced price cuts for various products shortly after the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party Nana Akufo-Addo was declared winner of the 2016 election.

The price cuts was in solidarity of the incoming government which has promised a relatively business friendly policies including tax reductions, import duty reduction etc.

Accordingly, fuel pump which sold at ¢350.00 is now selling at ¢20.00. Other products including car tapes have all seen marginal reductions.

The traders are praying the Akufo-Addo led government will redeem the promise he made to them when he settles in as president.

But the NDC MP is pessimistic the Akufo-Addo government will be able to redeem such a promise.

"I can tell you what they are expecting will never happen. If the government that is coming want to reduce the duty, want to reduce the taxes then probably they have other ways of getting money that we in the public don't know yet," he said.

Avedzi added if the traders could reduce prices by as much as 30% and still make some profit margins then it beggars belief why they would keep the prices that high until after the election.

"For a trader to make profit, the price at which you buy the product, cost and margin of profit will determine price."

"Were they actually sabotaging the government by increasing prices to make the government look bad before the people?

"Why should they reduce prices just a week after an election in which an opposition party won or were they just exploiting the people of Ghana all this while?" he asked.

He was emphatic, however the traders were more for sabotage than for exploitation.

But the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Obuasi West Kweku Kwarteng said the decision by the traders made absolute sense. "It makes business logic. It is not sabotage. I think they are responding to policy signal by the NPP," he rebutted.

While he agreed in part with Avedzi about the cost determinant of a product, he was quick to add that the anticipation of price levels also plays a role. He said if a trader anticipates that his price levels will rise, he will increase it or vice versa.

On whether the NPP will be able to keep their promise of reducing the taxes he said Ghanaians will soon be the witnesses.