The leadership of the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) has asked its members to reject plans to reverse the benchmark value reduction policy.
This follows a communique sighted from the Ghana Revenue Authority which indicated the intended cancellation of the discounts on Benchmark Values for vehicles and general goods from the 15th of November 2021.
Speaking during a press conference organised earlier on Monday, President of GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng called on the trading community not to comply with the directive, claiming that, it will further worsen their plight.
“We of the trading community do not accept and will not accept this directive and we, therefore, ask members of the trading community to ignore this statement of GRA outrightly”
The government in 2019, reduced the benchmark value or delivery values of imports, by 50%, except for vehicles which were to be reduced by 30%. This was to reduce smuggling while increasing its revenues.
Some stakeholders like the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) have, however, raised concerns about the move insisting that it made local producers uncompetitive.
Some have questioned the need for the reduction when it did not seem to reflect in the prices of goods on the market but GUTA had a justification for the policy.
Dr Obeng stated that “Benchmark value was not the only factor of cost. There are so many other factors of cost. With the exchange rate going up, freights have also gone astronomically high. If we had to mark up these costs, then prices could have gone up by 500 per cent”