Don’t reverse the 50% reduction in benchmark values – GUTA appeals

byMichael OgboduAugust 23, 2021 

The Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) wants the government to abort plans to scrap the 50% reduction in benchmark values.

GUTA insists that, if the reversal is carried through, it will adversely affect their businesses.

There are rumours that government intends to reverse the 50% reduction in benchmark values introduced about two years ago.

President of GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng says such a move would be insensitive to the trading community looking at their current predicament compounded by the outbreak of COVID-19.

“It has come to our notice that, the government is bent on removing the benchmark value reduction that was handed over to the business community to mitigate our plight based on the pressures that are coming to bear from the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI). But this is the only lifeline that is left for the business community, especially the importing community and the consuming public.”

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic this has been one major policy that has served us better, and we will not let it go, otherwise, it will lead to the total collapse of businesses”.

The Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, in 2019, announced a 50% reduction in the benchmark values to lower the incidence of smuggling and enhance revenue at the country’s ports.

Subsequently, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in April 2019, directed the reduction of the benchmark value, by 50%, except for vehicles which were to be reduced by 30%.

In May this year, there were rumours of scrapping of the reduction, but the Ghana Revenue Authority debunked the assertion, describing it as untrue.

But the issue has resurrected, as GUTA says new leads indicate that the government is making plans to reverse the 50% relief on benchmark values of some imported goods.

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