Ahead of the 2021 budget statement to be presented in Parliament, the Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA is urging government not to introduce new direct taxes that have the potential of affecting their businesses.
In order to relieve them of the harsh impact of the coronavirus pandemic, GUTA wants government to also facilitate processes to ensure traders have access to soft loans, as it is also calling on government to reduce levies at the ports.
“Even though the government is hard-pressed financially and is in need of revenue, we don’t expect new direct taxes that will affect our businesses. If government is thinking about any new taxes, it shouldn’t be direct that will have any impact on our businesses”.
GUTA is also calling on government to ensure the early completion of the Boankra Inland Port to relieve them of the frustrations they go through in clearing their goods at the ports.
“We have been hammering on this but it seems authorities have not been listening to us. When we go to the port and clear our goods from Tema or Takoradi, our brothers and sisters who are operating in Accra, Tema, Takoradi and Cape Coast and other areas take the goods to their shops at a very reduced cost of transportation. We have to travel all the way from the port to Kumasi at a cost of GHS4000 per 40-footer container. And when you are on your way coming, the harassment you face on the road by the Customs and the police is unbearable. That is why we were so happy when the government came up with the Boankra Inland Port project. We want it to be followed to its logical end and make sure it is not on paper, but it is completed. It must work so that we can carry our goods directly from here without any intimidation or harassment”.
Some traders at the Suame Magazine also shared their expectations ahead of the budget presentation with Citi Business News.
“We want the government to reduce the import duties for us. The coronavirus pandemic has affected the prices of goods,” a spare parts dealer, Augustine Asabre stated.
“We import goods, but the import duties are very high which affect the prices of goods as well. We want government to reduce the import duties for us,” another spare parts Dealer, Akwasi Poku said.