Importers of mobile phones and accessories are demanding a complete reversal of the 20% import tax on mobile handsets before government presents the 2015 budget next month.
The importers have presented a petition to the Finance Ministry, complaining about the negative impact the taxes are having on their businesses.
According to them, the 20% import tax is contributing to the increasing number in tax evasion cases and the smuggling of handsets into the country.
The Customs and Excise Amendment Bill 2013 was to enable government raise GH¢49.8 million as tax revenue to support developmental activities for the year.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the chairman of the association, Osei Agyeman said the taxes must be scrapped because their investigations show government’s attempt to increase revenue from the taxes has failed.
“We know that the government is going to present its budget statement in Parliament anytime soon…we want the 20 percent removed,” he stressed.
Several phone importers were present at the press conference organized at the at the Tip Toe lane at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, to register their concerns with the 20% import tax on mobile handsets
Some phone importers who spoke to Citi Business News lamented that they may be out of business soon if the taxes are not scrapped.
One importer said: “Before if you can sell 30 phones, now you are selling 10 because money is not in the system and the prices are high. It’s hurting our business a lot”.
Another importer also said: “It has affected us a lot because no our business has come down, market is slow…it’s collapsing our business and our capital is coming down.”
In July this year, Parliament passed into law, the Customs and Excise Amendment Bill 2013 in fulfillment of measures by government to raise funds.
The new law seeks to impose a 20 per cent on mobile phone, cellular and satellite phones imported into the country and is expected to enable government raise an amount of GH49.8 million to support its developmental activities for the year.
By: Rabiu Alhassan/citifmonline.com/Ghana