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Business News of Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Source: Daniel Kaku

Tax stamp campaign: Ministry of Trade and Industry educates traders in Takoradi

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has taken the tax stamp campaign to Takoradi in the Western Region.

On Monday, the Ministry organized a sensitization workshop for traders engaged in textile business and urged them to cooperate with government streamline activities in the textile industry.

The workshop primarily centered on tax education, the popular textile stamp, application technology, verification codes and new features being introduced by government to sanitize activities in the textile industry.

The application technology, the Ministry envisages would assist customers to determine the quality of textiles as well as tax compliance by both manufacturers and traders.

Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Carlos Ahenkorah who addressed hundreds of the traders who participated in the workshop, explained the main objective for the introduction of these policies.

According to him, apart from improving revenue mobilization for national development, the policies would assist customers and traders to secure quality products whether local or foreign.

He said aside that, it would address prompt duty payments by importers at entry points, deal decisively with growing counterfeiting and piracy.

He said the aforementioned has affected the industry and rendered local manufacturing companies helpless.

The Deputy Minister noted that the Trade Ministry intends to revive the industry and make it viable, profitable and transparent hence the introduction of these policies for an improved industry operations.

He assured the traders of government's commitment to shoulder the responsibility of dealing with all the negative developments working against the survival and growth of the industry.

He emphasized that after carefully analyzing the collapsed state of the sector, Dr. Mahmudu Bawumia, Vice President facilitated the program to enforce printing of all school uniforms in Ghana instead of China as happened in the past to keep local manufacturing companies such as ATL vibrant.

Consequently, he said the company secured the mandate to produce all the quantity required and that alone, he said supported the revival of the company which had virtually collapsed under previous governments.

He said the tax stamps would not be issued for sale for the meantime as government pilots the concept but insists, the decision could be reversed in future as implementation reaches crescendo.

The traders asked questions on sustainability of the campaign to revive the industry, copyright issues and quality, harassment by tax officials, illiteracy concerns on new features as codes , concerns of GTP been very expensive, and lacks quality, against foreign textiles being cheaper and boasts of quality.

An official of the Ministry Kweku Boadu, who is part of the technical team working on the technology being introduced said introduction of the technology was to improve security and address smuggling issues.

He supported the argument advanced by Carlos Ahenkorah, the Deputy Minister for Trade who highlighted the significance of the features being introduced to track taxation using special codes for scanning to verify specifications and taxation.

Kweku Boadu said the use of technology applications to determine quality, legality, taxation and specification of textiles aims to improve the business.

He cited an example of the short code involvement for verification by customers.

For traders, he said they should monitor the code, identification number tax stamp, to determine categories of textiles they would sell.

He said the feedback mechanism being sort by government would eventually transform the industry and make it lucrative for the traders.