Business News of 2014-07-29

GUTA satisfied with task force on retail trade

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has welcomed government’s decision to dispatch an inter-agency task force on retail trade into the various markets to clamp down on foreigners operating in those markets.
This is in spite of the fact that earlier taskforces constituted to work in that direction failed to achieve their objectives, as more foreigners continue to invade the local retail market which is, per the law, the sole preserve of Ghanaians.
The current taskforce is the third to be inaugurated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in the last couple of years. The President of GUTA, Mr George Ofori, told a section of the media after the inauguration that the taskforce was a step in the right direction.
“For us at GUTA, it is a step in the right direction. Initially, GUTA was not happy about the formation of the task force, because earlier ones did not achieve results,” he said and added that members were optimistic that this time the needed results would be achieved.
He explained further that “this is the third time and we need to achieve the success and results we need. Efficiency and effectiveness is what we seek.” GUTA is also negotiating for more representation on the task force as it is its concerns that the taskforce is expected to address.
“We are calling for more representation on the task force because it is for us that the task force has been formed. We are negotiating for six people from the current four that are on it. Having more representation will be good for us,” Mr Ofori added.
The taskforce,/B>
The 24-member inter-agency task force was inaugurated by the outgoing Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, to check on foreigners involved in retail trade in the country, as it is solely the preserve of Ghanaians.
Members of the task force were drawn from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs and Domestic Division), Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and the Ghana Police Service.
The rest are from the Ghana Investment and Promotions Centre (GIPC), Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Registrar General’s Department, Ghana Union of Traders Association, Ghana Immigration Service and an official from the Office of the National Security Coordinator.
Their duty, among other things, is to visit the various markets and identify those engaged in the retail business, which is exclusively for Ghanaians, and to spell out appropriate sanctions within the ambit of the law, that is the GIPC Act 865.
The constitution of the task force became necessary as a result of concerns raised by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) on the dominance of foreigners in the retail trade sector, which eventually led to a four-day strike by members of GUTA last month.
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