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GUTA Salutes Government For The Assurance To Reduce Import Duties

The leadership of Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA), have lauded plans by government to reduce import duties as its affecting traders in the country.

President of GUTA, Joseph Kwaku Obeng speaking on Rite Morning Ride said, Ghana charges the highest amount of levies on goods imported into the country within the Sub-Saharan region.

He stated, that the decision by the government is a good one and it will help GUTA members. “We presented our petition and went further to interact with government. We kept pushing and reminding government. We are grateful to government and all stakeholders”, he said

According to him, Ghanaian traders go to their neighboring West African countries to buy goods which have been imported to those countries because they are cheaper than importing directly into Ghana.

“We have compared the charges we pay to other Sub Saharan West African countries, and Ghana has the highest import levy charges. This makes the cost of doing business relatively high. That is why most of the Ghanaian traders go to Togo and Nigeria to do business. They are not even going to buy made in Togo or Nigerian goods; they are going to buy imported goods,” he said.

This he said has a negative effect on the Ghanaian currency and economy of the country as a whole because many do not import any longer while others try as much as they can to exempt themselves from paying import duties therefore denying the country revenue for development.

‘’We are more than happy hearing the news and we know it’s the right step taken by the government to reduce the import duties, though we don’t know much the percentage to be reduced to but we are very hopeful that traders will hear good news this time we believe’’ he narrated.

Dr Joseph Kwaku Obeng said the association is grateful to the president, the council of state and other stakeholders who played a key role before this pronouncement by the government.

Council of State took up concerns of importers and exporters to President Nana Akufo-Addo in the hope of getting a downward review of the duties they pay at the country’s ports.

The Trade Union members, Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) and other related parties petitioned the Council of State to intervene and help save them from the exorbitant charges.

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has indicated that reforms to Ghana’s import duty regime, which will bring down the high duties prevailing in Ghana’s ports, are in the offing, and will be rolled out soon.

Following calls on government to reduce import duties, President Akufo-Addo assured Ghanaians that Cabinet was already in the process of dealing with the matter.

Austin Ofori Addo/ritefmonline.org/austinofori.addo@gmail.com

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