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Business News of Monday, 28 February 2022


We are dissatisfied with downward review of benchmark value discounts – AGI

Tema Port [File Photo] Tema Port [File Photo]

Akufo-Addo orders suspension of benchmark value reversal for consultations

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

GUTA pleased with benchmark policy rates

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has expressed dissatisfaction with government’s decision to implement a downward review of the benchmark discount value policy.

According to the Association, the decision made by government will not address the ongoing challenges local manufacturers.

In a statement issued on Monday, February 28, 2022, the AGI said, “Our attention has been drawn to a reduction of the 50% benchmark discount value to 30% for general goods and 10% for vehicles, while consultation was still in progress."

“This revision by the government does not offer solutions or address the concerns of local manufacturers. While we acknowledge efforts by the government to address this distortion, we are very dissatisfied with this review,” the AGI said.

The Association further said the proposed rate for the benchmark value discount will not enhance market competitiveness as many of its members were grappling with the decision for about two years.

“After bearing the brunt of this policy for over two years, it has been our expectation that the revision will spare us further stress. AGI wishes to state that a review from 50% to 30% for general goods and 10% for vehicles does not restore local manufacturers to the status quo, let alone competitiveness. This will not achieve the desired impact, and we consider this not adequate to ensure the competitiveness of our manufacturers. Indeed, we are disappointed,” it stated in a release sighted by GhanaWeb.

Meanwhile, the AGI has implored government to develop a road map of its decision to gradually reverse the benchmark value discount.

The association added it wants to see a road map of what the government’s decision to gradually reverse the benchmark will look like.

“Since the government has indicated a gradual reversal of the benchmark discount policy, we would like to see a road map with timelines for this process,” the AGI said.

Government review Benchmark Value discounts

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 are 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.