Importers to hit streets of Kumasi over tax hikes, Cedi depreciation
A group of importers in Kumasi have threatened to embark on a demonstration to register their displeasure over “several taxes” being collected at various entry points.
The Kumasi Central Market Importers and the Eastern Corridor Importers Association say the development is making their work difficult.
At a press conference in Kumasi on Wednesday, March 13, the group lamented how a task force allegedly set up by the presidency and the office of the Senior Minister is making the process of clearing goods at Ghana’s entry points cumbersome and frustrating.
While the group supported government idea of widening the tax net, it was, however, worried about the mode of operation of the Task Force.
The group also lamented how the gradual depreciation of the Ghana cedi against the American dollar and the British pound sterling is taking a heavy toll on them, giving government by end of March to address the issue.
“It’s becoming frustrating. The entry and check points with taskforces are one too many. We can’t even verify them. Some of them even beat us when we ask them for identification. Some of them say they are from the senior minister’s office while others say they are coming from the presidency,” the group said.
“We want to appeal to the president to intervene. The duty is too much. It wasn’t like this during Kufuor’s time. We pray the president will listen to our plea.”
Their call comes days after members of the Council of State and President Akufo-Addo held a closed-door meeting on the high rate of duties, levies and taxes on imported goods at Ghana’s ports of entry and the large volumes of tax exemptions.
Traders unions, including the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), had petitioned the state to intervene to review taxes and duties on imported items because they are too high.
Following the petition, the Council of State moved into action to hold consultations with various stakeholders to enable it to provide informed advice on the issue.