Business News of 2014-01-11

Chemical sellers protest against new fees

The Ghana National Licensed Chemical Sellers Association has protested against the increase in fees for the renewal of licences and other fees approved by Parliament with effect from January 2014.

It has subsequently called for its immediate withdrawal since its continuous stay is likely to kill the chemical sellers industry which provides employment for thousands of people.

The National President of the association, Torgbui Adela Dartey, registered the protest of the association at a news conference in Kumasi.

Torgbui Dartey explained that under the new arrangement, licence renewal which cost GH¢20 had been increased to GH¢60, while the cost for training programme also increased from GH¢10 to GH¢100.

There is also a charge of GH¢60 for the renewal of premises and GH¢100 for what is known as the Pharmacy Company Operating Licence.

Torgbui Dartey said the increases were exorbitant and when implemented would not only throw members out of business but kill the industry in the long run.

He said the unwelcome increase was due to the fact that members were not consulted on matters affecting them and their businesses because the association had no representation on the regulatory body of the association, the Pharmacy Council.

Togbui Dartey said members considered the new increase as a means to deprive rural folks, particularly the poor and marginalised, the basic healthcare services and emphasised that the members were mostly the first port of call for healthcare delivery in the country, particularly in the rural areas.

The Secretary of the association, Mr John Ofori-Attah, said the imposition of various fees of about GH¢ 400 a year, coupled with high taxes from district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies would place a heavy burden on chemical sellers.

Members consequently issued an ultimatum that should the government go ahead with the new fees, the association would in protest shut down indefinitely all the 13,000 chemical shops across the country.