Vice President of the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), Clement Boateng is demanding an apology from the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu for accusing traders of under-declaring goods imported through the ports and excessive profiteering.
The Association in an earlier statement scolded the Bekwai lawmaker for blaming traders for the general price hikes in the country.
While speaking in an interview with Kumasi-based Oyerepa TV, Mr. Osei-Owusu accused traders of unnecessarily burdening consumers with higher prices of general goods while cheating their way through the ports by evading taxes.
“GUTA should be fair to this country. They are always talking about taxes, and yet they are over-exploiting Ghanaians, and I am saying this without fear. I bought these tiles you see from China, some of the highest grades you can get [at a low price] and same tiles are being sold here at higher prices,” Mr. Osei-Owusu said in the interview.
Responding to the MP’s accusations on Eyewitness News on Citi FM, GUTA’s vice president said it is unfortunate such comments were coming from him.
“For his calibre to come out with this statement, it is very unfortunate. We never expected him to come out to say the things he said. If he is accusing us of under-declaring, is he suggesting the GRA is not doing its work? He should know that it was people that voted him to occupy the position he is occupying, so he should be careful when he is talking.”
Mr. Boateng noted that, what the MP and his government should be doing is finding ways of reducing the many taxes traders have to pay to have their goods cleared to revive the silent port centres in the country.
“Currently, our ports are empty simply because the cost of doing business in the country is very high because of the many taxes that business people have to pay to do business in the country and when we complain, then he comes out to attack us.”