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Business News of Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Source: Eye on Port

GUTA urges government to stay away from benchmark policy

Joseph Obeng, President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association Joseph Obeng, President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has urged the government to stay away from reviewing the 50% and 30% Benchmark Values policy on general goods and cars respectively that are imported into the country.

Addressing a press conference, the President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng averred that the benchmark policy has been a mitigating factor during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and has helped businesses to sustain prices of goods despite the surge in freight resulting from the adverse global effect of the pandemic.

He stated that, “we will agree that the 50% benchmark value reduction did not come out of the blue. For years, businesses in the country have been crying over high rates of import duties.”

He predicted a 25% increase in the price of general goods, should there be any attempt by the government to review or reverse the values.

He warned that any attempt to introduce this policy in the 2022 Budget will disrupt Ghana’s distribution sector and charged members of GUTA not to pay any additional amount on duty for clearance.

Meanwhile, the Food and Beverage Association of Ghana is also warning of some disruption in the value chain of beverage products, ahead of the Christmas season should the policy be reversed in the 2022 Budget.

The President of the Automobile Dealers Association of Ghana, Eric Kwaku Boateng said the prices of vehicles in the country will increase if the 30% benchmark value on cars is reversed.