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GUTA lists 11 reasons why government must suspend reversal of benchmark value

Temaport111 The reversal of the benchmark reduction policy takes effect today

Tue, 4 Jan 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) is asking the government to hold on with reversing the benchmark value policy for shipping rates into the country.

In a release signed by it’s President Dr Joseph Obeng, GUTA listed eleven (11) reasons why it believes government must not go ahead with the reversal implementation scheduled to take effect today, Tuesday, January 4, 2021.

Among other reasons cited by GUTA to support its demand include the prevailing effects of COVID-19, high cost of world commodity prices and a resulting increase in the prices of essential commodities such as food and pharmaceuticals.

“That the prices of essential commodities such as food, pharmaceuticals and others will be extremely unbearable for the consuming public which will also affect turnover and volume of trade in the country, thereby collapse businesses.

“That in the fight against the pandemic, prices of food items, pharmaceutical products etc. need to be affordable to the consuming public,” portions of the GUTA release stated.

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) will effective January 4, 2022, begin the implementation of government’s policy directive on the reversal of the reduction of values of imports on 43 selected items.

Also known as the ‘benchmark values’, the reversal will affect the selected items from all the three categories on which the reversal was applied, a statement from the Authority stated.

The items to be affected include the home delivery value of vehicles, goods on which benchmark values are applied and all other goods.

This means the Home Delivery Value of vehicles will no longer be discounted by 30%.

Also, the full value shall apply without any reduction for all other goods, where the importer has an invoice for which the value is higher or lower than the established Transaction Price Database.

According to GRA, this is to ensure that importers or agents pay 100% duty on selected items.

In calling on government to suspend the reversal has further asked state authorities to conduct stakeholder engagement on the subject.

Read the full release by GUTA below:

Read the full release by GUTA below:

GOVERNMENT SHOULD HOLD ON WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REVERSAL OF THE BENCHMARK VALUE POLICY


The Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations is calling on the government to hold on with the implementation of the reversal of the benchmark value policy based on the following:

1. That the devastating effects of the covid-19 pandemic are still prevalent and even in its fourth wave which is worsening the situation.

2. That world commodity prices are still high and going up, with freight charges being extremely high.

3. That the conditions that resulted to the introduction of the benchmark value policy are still prevalent and even worse.

4. That the prices of essential commodities such as food, pharmaceuticals and others will be extremely unbearable for the consuming public which will also affect turnover and volume of trade in the country, thereby collapsing businesses.

5. That in the fight against the pandemic, prices of food items, pharmaceutical products etc. need to be affordable to the consuming public.

6. That our local manufacturers cannot meet demand of most of the listed items, therefore, we are not self-sufficient as a country, to surcharge the consuming public.

7. That the lack of competitiveness of our local industries is based on other factors rather than the benchmark value policy of which they (industries) are also beneficiaries.

8. That the exchange rate is also going up at this time.

9. That the competitiveness of the Ghanaian trader within the sub-regional bloc- cross-border trade should also be conceded as very necessary and important.

10. That the government through the Economic Management Team had promised to engage stakeholders on the issue before any decision is taken but have not met yet.

11. That in the press conference of the Honourable Finance Minister, he acknowledged the fact that the reversal of the benchmark value would have an adverse effect on importers and that the government would find a mitigating factor to cushion the effect but this has not yet been done.

In view of the all aforesaid, it is our hope and belief that the government will listen to our plea and hold on with the policy for proper stakeholder engagement to take place.

Signed

Dr. Joseph Obeng

President

Source: www.ghanaweb.com