Business News of 2013-12-03

Task Force seizes 1,035 pieces of textiles

The Government Anti-Pirated Textile Task Force yesterday reactivated its work at the 31st December Market in Accra and confiscated 1,035 pieces of pirated textiles.

The textiles which were confiscated were made up of both fancy and wax prints and they would be destroyed by the task force to serve as a deterrent to others.

The task force took the action following threats by workers in the textile industry to go on demonstration through some principal streets of Accra, to draw public and the government’s attention to the impact of pirated imported textiles on the industry and their jobs.

The workers, who had written a letter informing the police about their planned demonstration today, had to call it off because of the assurance by the Minister of Trade and Industry that the task force would be activated.

The task force was set up by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to clamp down on the activities of ‘pirates’ and tax evaders of textiles.

The task force comprises representatives of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ghana Revenue Authority, textile manufacturing companies and the police.

Public education

Speaking to the Daily Graphic after the exercise, Mr John Kwesi Amoah, a member of the task force, recalled that after the inauguration of the task force, the ministry advised that it would be prudent for the task force to educate and advise other players, especially importers and traders, about its activities before moving into action.

He said the task force invited the traders and some importers to a meeting but surprisingly only a few of them attended.

After the meeting, Mr Amoah said, the task force was asked to move into action to ensure that pirated textiles were seized and destroyed.

Mr Abraham Koomson, the General Secretary of the Federation of Labour, the umbrella body of workers in the textile industry, told the Daily Graphic that the current state of the textile industry was disturbing.

Impact on jobs

He said hitherto, the industry provided direct employment for about 30,000 workers, but due to the activities of the ‘pirates’ the labour force had been reduced to only 3000.

He described as welcome news, the move by the task force and explained that Ghana could not develop by encouraging the imports of illegally copied and substandard goods.

“Those financing, as well as supporting such illegal trade in any form, are providing employment for others in those countries,” he contended.

In August, this year, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) in collaboration with the Task Force on Pirated Textiles destroyed a total of 450 pieces of seized Ghanaian pirated textiles.