2022 Budget: Freight forwarders lament suspension of benchmark values

Haulage Truck Tema Portrrtrt Some freight forwarders are worried over the suspension of Benchmark Values on general goods, others

Sat, 20 Nov 2021 Source: atinkaonline.com

Some freight forwarders in the country have raised concerns over the suspension of Benchmark Values on general goods and vehicles.

Just like other traders who will be affected, the freight forwarders are also crying that prices of general goods and vehicles will go up and may affect the ordinary Ghanaian.

The Government suspended 50% benchmark values on selected general goods and the 30% on vehicles to make the measure more efficient and targeted.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, who announced this when he presented the 2022 budget to Parliament, said the move was consistent with the government policy to promote local industry and improve foreign exchange earnings.

He said the Government was committed to a programme of turning enterprising traders into manufacturers of widgets, tools and other machinery necessary as inputs for industrial growth.

While the AGI pushed for the suspension of the Benchmark values, GUTA was also not in support of it because they said it will affect their businesses and inflate prices of imported goods.

Speaking on Atinka TV’s morning show, a Freight Forwarder, Mr Jacob Agyemang said not only importers benefited from the Benchmark Values, adding that government also benefited.

He explained that the Benchmark Values helped reduce smuggling of goods and vehicles.

With the Benchmark Values, he said there were lots of compliances by the importers, saying its suspension might compel some importers to go back to their old ways.

Although not happy about the suspension of benchmark values, he advised the AGI and GUTA not to be enemies over the issue, noting that both had different views on the matter.

Mr Agyemang also urged government to create a balance between manufacturing and importation, saying a country without traders cannot survive and also, a country without manufacturers can also not survive.

Meanwhile, he was of the belief that there can be an amendment to the suspension of the benchmark values before it is passed, expressing hope that it is amended before the budget is approved.

Source: atinkaonline.com
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