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Business News of Monday, 2 August 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Removing benchmark value of 50% will worsen plight of trading community – GUTA

President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng

• GUTA has accused government of attempts to remove the Benchmark Value Reduction of 50% on some selected items

•The association says the move will only worse the plight of the trading community

•It added that removing the benchmark value will also stifle government's resolve to generate revenue at the country's ports


The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has accused government of making attempts to remove the Benchmark Value Reduction of 50% on some selected items.

According to a statement issued by GUTA, a move to scrap the benchmark policy will further bring on an increment in the price of goods and services on the market.

The Union noted that a reduction in the benchmark value will bring on hardships on the trading community which is already suffering as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“With regards to the selected items which include rice, edible oil, biscuits, frozen chicken and other food and essential commodities, we do not have self-sufficiency and sustainability in the local production. For us to surcharge and punish the final consumer who barely have sufficient and affordable alternative will not be fair and disastrous,” the statement read in part.

“We suggest that government should look at the abuse in the system of Warehousing, Goods in Transit, the Tax Exemption Policy and find innovative ways to monitor and control these areas which will definitely stop or minimise drastically the over excessive leakages in the system.”

“We will also encourage government to only shortlist these selected items to products that border on health and security,” the statement added.

GUTA adds that removing the benchmark value will also stifle government's resolve to generate revenue hence the need for a more pragmatic approach to widening the tax net.

As part of measures to curb the incidence of goods smuggling and enhancing revenue generation at the ports, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia at a town hall meeting in 2019 announced a decision of government to reduce the benchmark value by 50%.