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Business News of Monday, 28 February 2022

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Slowly implement complete reversal of benchmark value discounts – GUTA to government

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

Benchmark value discounts now 30% for general goods, 10% for imported vehicles

Akufo-Addo orders suspension of benchmark value reversal for consultations

GUTA pleased with benchmark policy rates


The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has appealed to government to slowly implement a complete reversal of the benchmark value discounts on imported goods at the ports.

According to president of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, this is necessary to study the impact of the decision and keep the trading community in a stable position before the reversal is implemented.

"We’re pleading with the government to hasten slowly. Because then it would mean that we’re being reversed to the old problem. So once the benchmark has increased in a way, we should study and see the impact and see how we can get a mitigating factor before we can think about reversing it completely,” Dr. Obeng is quoted by Citibusinessnews.com

“Fortunately, the Finance Minister [Ken Ofori-Atta] has set up a committee for industrialization where the trading public, AGI and GEPA will be a part of to see that we migrate gradually into industrialization. Till we’ve seen that we are not ready to go. We cannot surcharge Ghanaians with high costs of doing business and so it is in the right step so that we try to develop,” he added.

The GUTA president further appealed, “Whiles finding a proper solution in industrialization, the complete reversal can be done later when we’re ready”

Government on Tuesday, February 22 announced a conclusion of consultations on the benchmark value reduction following a meeting between the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Institute of Freight Forwarders and the Ghana Revenue Authority.

The conclusions meant that, a 30 percent benchmark discount for general goods and 10 percent for imported vehicles into the country, will be applied at the ports.

The reduction however comes after government earlier placed a 50 percent discount on general goods and 30 percent on imported vehicles.

Earlier in January this year, the Ghana Revenue Authority announced the reversal of benchmark values on imports.

But the trading community vehemently hit against it, saying it would increase general prices of goods and services in the country and affected their businesses.

However, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ordered the GRA to halt the suspension of the policy and allow for broader stakeholder engagements to be done.

Meanwhile, the proposed new rates on the reversal of benchmark value discounts is expected to take effect from March 1, 2022.

The reversal, according to the Ghana Revenue Authority will be undertaken in phase ahead of a complete reversal of the discount policy in the near future.