Accra 6th January 2022 - The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has met with the leadership of Ghana Union of Traders Association to hear their position on the reversal of the 50% Benchmark value policy. Present are the meeting were the Commissioners of Ghana Revenue Authority and officials of Association of Ghana Industries.
Also at the meeting were other stakeholder groups that were affected by the review which included the Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana, Customs Brokers Association of Ghana, Food and Beverage Association of Ghana, Association of Customs House, Ghana, as well as leadership of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
It would be recalled that, Government in the 2022 Annual Budget reviewed the Benchmark value and this has generated a lot of conversation in the media space with divergent views emanating from the local manufacturing sector and the trade and import sectors of the economy.
In their presentation, GUTA highlighted the need to reverse the policy which could pose a serious impact on the economy. They insisted that the policy would affect traders and also lead to an increase in prices for consumers.
According to them, Government could not sacrifice the traders to help the manufacturers, but rather government could grant them direct support. They highlighted other issues such as high cost of fees and charges at the port and shipping lines charges, the tax avoidance issues at the port.
On the contrary, AGI disagreed with GUTA’s position on the matter and insisted that the 50% Benchmark Policy was affecting most local businesses and manufacturers leading to job losses.
Members of AGI rather applauded the Government for the well-thought-out policy interventions in the 2022 Budget and stated that no economy could prosper without the support of the manufacturing and private sectors, emphasizing the importance of respecting all points of view.
Mr. Ofori-Atta commended the parties for the views expressed and noted that, they were all geared towards a better Ghana.
The Minister for Finance thanked all stakeholders for the meeting, especially GUTA for seeing the need to engage further with Government further on the reversal of the 50% Benchmark Policy.
He noted that this policy reversal was necessary to boost local production of the selected items, as Ghana continues to work on its industrialization agenda towards a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ trajectory.
The Ministry of Finance will continue to engage with stakeholders on all government policies and programmes to the benefit of all Ghanaians. END