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Business News of Thursday, 30 June 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

Exporters threaten to drag GRA & Fin Ministry to court

Some local manufacturers and exporters have threatened to hurl the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Finance Ministry to court over what they claim are deliberate delays in the payment of their tax refunds under the duty drawback scheme.

Some of them who have been speaking to Citi Business News say the process which should normally last six months extends to well beyond a year in some instances.

Drawback is the refund of import duties and taxes paid on imported materials that are used as inputs in the manufacture of goods, which are then exported.

Ghana has had a duty drawback regime in place since 1993 after it liberalized its import and export trade. This was with the view to make it easier for domestic manufacturing firms to source scarce or unavailable inputs from other countries at competitive prices for the manufacturing of goods for exports.

Citi Business News has learnt majority of exporters are owed duty drawback. A research conducted by the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry has revealed that on average, government owes about 456, 289 Ghana cedis per individual company.

The highest amount owed to businesses is about 1,700,000 million Ghana cedis and the minimum amount is about 500 Ghana cedis.

The research also showed that on average payments could take about 10 months depending on follow ups in extreme cases; payment of refund could be made after 2 years while the shortest possible period is 5 months.

Despite the finding, the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is impressing on its members who have been affected by the undue delays in the payment of their duty draw back claims to exercise restraint as the Chamber pushes for their concerns to be addressed. The CEO of the GCCI, Mark Badu Aboagye tells Citi Business News of negotiations to get the issue rectified.

“I do not think that is the option, in fact we need to explore other options before going to court. It is another option but let us explore to the fullest this particular option which we have started very well; probably the next time we come around we will come with tangible results of those who have been able to get their refunds within the shortest possible time,” he said.

Mr. Aboagye who was speaking on Business Today however intimated that affected businesses will be compelled to demand interests if the GRA does intervene to reverse the trend.

“Interestingly they are not giving us interests on the monies that they are being delayed…We are asking that if these things should continue, then we are going to ask for interests on the monies that are being help up with them,” he further observed.