Business

Special import levy: Mahama was not properly briefed – exporters

importersThe Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana is not happy with President Mahama and has been hard on him as it accuses him of misleading the public.

 

According to the Association, claim by the president that it was consulted with regards to the extension of 2% special import levy to 2017 in his interview with TV3 on Monday was inaccurate.

“The minister of trade was out of the country at the time, and if I remember the deputy minister of trade met with them and listened to them and gave them assurances that government will sit and look at the some of the issues they have raised,” the president told TV3.

But Executive Secretary of the Association, Samson Asaki Awingobit in a statement challenged that claim.

“The businesses community especially importers and exporters association in the country never and have never been consulted on the extension of 2% special import levy to 2017. We only heard on air from the Finance Minister,” he said.

He also charged government to be a listening one, adding that the private sector cannot experience any meaningful growth in the current tax regime and businesses environment.

“It is for government to stop been defensive and listen to businesses for the overall growth and development of Ghana,” he stated.
Below is the PRESS statement the Association issued on Tuesday
TO ALL THE MEDIA HOUSES 15TH MARCH,2016

My attention has been drawn to an interview that H.E. the President of the Republic of Ghana granted to TV3 yesterday 141 March, 2016 and among other things touch on issues related to the businesses environment.

We hereby wish to raise our concerns pertaining to the president’s interview and seek to correct some inaccuracy that were put out by H.E. the President. While acknowledging that the president probably was not brief.
We wish to state the “follow”

1. The businesses community especially importers and exporters association in the country never and have never been consulted on the extension of 2% special import levy to 2017. We only heard on air from the finance minister.

2. While acknowledging that 1% tax on the CCVR is not a new tax, we wish to state that we find this tax illegal and unacceptable because it came with the DIC’s and ought to have expired with the DIC’s contracts. We find it unacceptable to continue to pay this tax in the absence of the DIC’s. ‘

3. The excise tax stamp is for both imported and locally manufacturer goods.

4. The excise tax stamp is a transactional cost of doing businesses and will only exhibit the already worse businesses environment in the country. Excise tax stamp has never solved any counterfeit problem in any country. We are aware how it has fail in other country including Kenya.

5. Ghana has also implemented 20% on bicycles importations.

6. We find it unacceptable in that in the midst of high interest rate, high inflation and instability of Ghana cedis and the comparative low minimum wage of the Ghanaian worker. The Ghanaian government still opted for higher tariffs band such as 35% for most consumable goods that the country have no capacity to produce, compare to Ivory Coast, Togo who took lower tariff band.

7. i.e. The CET rice import duty, for rice in Ivory Coast is 10% while is 20% in Ghana. Chicken is 20% while is 35% in Ghana, yet the minimum wage is higher than that of Ghana and the C.F.A has been stable over 10 years as compared to the cedi in Ghana. Also interest rate in Ivory Coast is about 8% compared to about 30% in Ghana.

In conclusion, the position of the importers and exporters association is that, the cumulative tax on import, on most consumable goods for the ordinary Ghanaian is about 60% and the government must seek to reduce it so as to lessen the burden of the consumers. The private sector cannot experience any meaningful grown in the current tax regime and businesses environment. It is for government to stop been defensive and listen to businesses for the overall growth and development of Ghana.
Executive secretary Samson Asaki Awingobit

Source: Isaac Essel |tv3network.com | Ghana

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