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General News of Friday, 30 June 2006

Source: GNA

Street hawking is a drain on revenue mobilization - Minister

Agona Swedru (C/R), June 30 GNA - Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, on Friday noted that street hawking was a major hindrance to revenue mobilization initiatives of district assemblies.

He said the huge number of traders involved in street hawking and their nomadic activities was affecting revenue mobilization, as revenue officers often had difficulty in tracking them down.

Mr Asamoah Boateng has, therefore, appealed to traders to use sheds allocated to them in the markets, instead of engaging in on-street trading, to ensure that the Government collected the necessary revenue to speed up development.

"The use of the roads is creating a lot of problems for other road users as well as exposing you to occupational hazards relating to the high fatality rate," he told market traders of the Agona Swedru Central Market during a familiarisation visit to the District. He said the phenomenon of on-street trading was creeping into all markets across the country affecting local governance, revenue mobilization and sanitation.

"The sheds were created for your use and if you remain in it, buyers would come to the market and shop. But if you move out, you tend to block vehicular movement and prevent people from accessing the markets to choose the best goods."

Mr Asamoah-Boateng said the on-street trading was also creating a lot of filth, whose collection was becoming a drain on most assemblies' resources.

"The filth is becoming a crisis for the entire nation and we all need to join hand in reversing the crisis facing our assemblies," he said.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng urged the Agona District Assembly to expand the market for the traders, construct drainage systems and ensure that lavatories were in place to put the traders at ease. "Any public place where people spend more than three hours needs toilet facilities to make the people feel comfortable," he said. He also urged the Assembly to complete the Mandela Market so that the Central Market could be decongested.

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