Business News of Wed, 20 Jun 20184

Duty rates and taxes, ‘killing us’ - GUTA

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has called on the government to take a further look at the duties and taxes charged on products in the country, as these duties are harming their businesses.

Speaking at a meeting with the Finance Minister, the President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng said, “we don’t understand why rates should cumulate to [about] 52 percent of our importing capital.”

Dr. Obeng explains that, currently, duty is at 20 percent, with 17.5 percent of value added tax (VAT), which is non-refundable, and additional levies and taxes numbering 19, cumulatively at about 12 percent.

“It means that, if you have sent US$ 100,000 to import goods, you are going to find US$ 52,000 to pay duty and taxes, which is not fair.”

He was quick to note that traders formerly paid 10 percent, mostly for their products. However, with the coming of the Common External Tariff (CET), duties moved up 20 percent and some have even gone as high as 5 percent for products like the confectionary.

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On the issue of the health of the local currency, the traders said the recent depreciation of the cedi against the dollar continues to erode their profits.

For this reason, Dr. Obeng insisted government to stabilize the local currency to minimise its current negative impact on economic gains made by the government.

He opined that government must introduce measures to retain part of profits, made by multinational companies, in the country.

In reacting to these issues, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta assured that government has already put in measures that will see the currency stabilize.

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