Benchmark value reversal means ‘buy from local producers’ – AGI

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The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has noted that the benchmark value reversal will ensure that local production becomes buoyant.

The AGI said consumers are going to buy from local producers due to the reversal of the policy.

The reversal of the 50 percent benchmark on value on imports started Tuesday January 4. This affected 143 items under three categories prescribed by the Ghana Revenue Authority.

The benchmark value, which is the amount taxable on imports, was reduced by 50 percent for some goods. The government had hoped that this was going scale up he volume of transactions of make Ghana’s ports competitive.

The government decided to reverse this decision after it met opposition from Association of Ghana Industries and the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).

But the reversal has also been rejected by the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG).

The IEAG said the reversal would be detrimental to the business community if it is not stopped immediately.

According to the IEAG, this would lead to many businesses losing their cargoes since importers would have to pay more outside their budgets even at this crucial time at the beginning of a new year.

a statement signed by their Executive Secretary Sampson Asaki Awingobit said on Tuesday January 4 that ” the position taken by government and by extension the Ghana Revenue Authority GRA on this matter would be detrimental to the business community if it is not reversed immediately.

“It would lead to many businesses losing their cargoes since importers would have to pay more outside their budgets even at this crucial time at the beginning of a new year. In the very likely event that such importers are not able to raise the additional funds to clear their goods on time, issues of uncleared cargo lists UCL would pop up and huge loses to demurrage would set in.

“Therefore, the IEAG is calling on the government and for that matter the GRA to withdraw this directive with immediate effect. The IEAG demands that such importers be given at least 14 working days to clear their already cleared cargoes from the port without the new 50% benchmark values.”

But speaking on the First Take on 3FM with host Dzifa Bampoh on Tuesday January 4, Chairman of the AGI, Mr. Tsonam Akpeloo said “The policy is telling us to buy from the one producing in Ghana. By so doing, the local manufacturers will have jobs and satisfy their suppliers.”

“We should encourage our local manufacturers to produce and even export.

“We are aware that there are other factors to be addressed but we want to focus on this policy which is affecting the economy.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana