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Business News of Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Source: GNA

Entrepreneurs appeal to government for review of taxes

Accra, June 1, GNA - Members of Western Region branch of Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI), have appealed to government to review and harmonise taxes, rates and fees paid by Micro and Small Scale Enterprises (MSEs). ASSI is of the view that the move will ensure effective compliance and avoid over taxation. In addition, stakeholders in the Oil and Gas Industry should establish their headquarters in the Region to make it easier for the MSEs to have easy access to business opportunities and contracts in the sector. The appeal was contained in a Charter issued after a two-day workshop to articulate and address issues relating to the development of the sector in Takoradi. The Charter called for the decentralisation of activities of Ghana Standards Board, Food and Drugs Board in product certification to reduce cost and create a one-stop system for product certification. "We urge government to forge closer collaboration with donors for assistance to MSEs to create a national platform for interaction, eliminate gender discrimination at all levels and ensure that telecommunication facilities are extended to rural and marginalised areas, 93it added. The Charter called on the Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies to empower their staff to make them more responsive to the needs of MSEs, while the Credit Union Association was encouraged to establish more local credit unions in the rural areas to facilitate access to loans by MSEs. Nii Ansah-Adjaye, Chief Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry, receiving the Charter on behalf of government, commended the members for the initiative and pledged government's commitment towards its implementation. He lauded the role played by MSEs in curbing unemployment and its challenges, adding 93Government believes in the sector's capacity to help reduce the high rate of rural-urban migration and its negative socio-economic consequences." Nii Ansah-Adjaye, cited the establishment of craft villages for manufacturers of handicrafts, strengthening of the National Youth Employment Programme and measures taken to decentralise activities of the Registrar General's Department as some of the measures to ensure the smooth operations of MSEs. He urged MSE operators to take advantage of the service institutions such as the National Board for Small Scale Industries, GRATIS Foundation, and the Export Development and Investment Fund to improve on their businesses. Mr Douglas Turkson, Regional Chairman of ASSI, who presented the Charter said it was adopted after eight years of research into the operations of MSEs in the Region from 2000 to 2008. He explained that the Association could not present its findings after the research due to lack of funds until the European Union and the Corporation for the Development of Emerging Countries, an international NGO assisted the body.