The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is demanding that government intervenes and solves all their concerns bordering on high charges and foreign invasion in the retail trade.
GUTA argues that their concerns if unchecked, will bring local retail trade business on its knees.
As part of protests against the development, the traders’ association is also cautioning it will cut back on its tax obligations to government if the situation go unresolved.
At a media briefing to announce their concerns, the traders who were clad in red arm and neckbands lamented how the benchmark value which is a price ceiling set on imports, is impacting on their operations.
An Executive Member of the Greater Accra regional branch of GUTA, Hajia Muna who owns an electrical shop at the Opera Square in Accra, appealed for the benchmark value to be reviewed to offer some respite to importers.
“We are begging government to reduce the benchmark values since they are escalating prices and we don’t want to do that. Already, there is no money in the system. People can’t afford even a common bulb. I have a shop and when customers come they plead with you to reduce even just a GHc 5 bulb” she lamented.
Commenting on the alleged takeover of the retail trade by foreigners, Hajia Muna insisted that the situation has rather escalated.
In her view, attempts to address the situation have yielded little results so far.
“About the foreigners, it is too much for us. They are all over and they don’t even have VAT invoices. I pay taxes and I can’t sell my bulb for Ghc3 but because they bring their goods directly from the factory they have nothing to lose so they sell them at Ghc3” she added.
GUTA is giving the authorities until October to address their grievances.
For the Executive Secretary of GUTA, Benjamin Yeboah, the members will be compelled to take drastic action including holding back on their tax obligations should authorities fail to come to their aid.
“We are giving government and other agencies an ultimatum that comes ending of October; if nothing is done about the foreigners in the retail markets we will decide not to file our VAT returns” he stated.
By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana