Ghana: Traders are making efforts to reduce importation – GUTA President

President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr Joseph Obeng, has said stakeholders in the trading industry are making efforts to reduce importation.

He indicated that the move, among other things will help to expand the tax net and make life comfortable for traders and consumers.

Speaking in a reaction to the fresh interventions by government to boost the economy, Dr Obeng highlighted that limiting importation can give locals a commanding height of the economy.

According to him, “that’s the only sure way we can retain the forex and it will help us.”

“We are also doing our bit as a group to make sure that we also minimise importation, though importation is also very important because we can only outsource only 10 per cent of import requirement in the country.

“But then we are doing what we can to also reduce export of locally produced goods into the import destinations. Importation shouldn’t be one way and that we should try to also export goods to our import destinations so that we can use the proceeds to bring the goods,” he stated on Newsfile, Saturday.

Dr Joseph Obeng said there must be holistic measures in place to expand the tax net by reviving key policies like the Tax Exemption Scheme.

He explained that if this is not done as a trading community, “what it means is that all the revenue that government seek will come and compile on importation whilst many other people are left off the hook.”

“I think what we have to do as a nation is to come together because we have taken a lot of the chunk of the burden and that is why we seek the tax expansion so that we expand the tax net. Let also think about what drives the demand surge of the forex because we’ve been getting surplus in balance of trade for the past three years; so, the Cedi should have been strengthened by now.

“If exports overshadow import, then there are other factors that work against the depreciation of the cedi than importation only. We do all these things in a manner that will help the business community to also make life meaningful for themselves,” he added.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced new measures to mitigate the economic hardships in the country on Thursday, March 24.

These measures encapsulate expenditure cuts, intense revenue mobilisation drive, fuel price mitigation and currency financing.

He expressed optimism that the measures will go a long way to cushion the citizenry amid the economic downturn.

Source: JoyNews