Benchmark policy reversal suspended indefinitely
GUTA wants consultations to be done objectively
Maintaining the discount on imports will affect local industries- AGI
Government has begun broader consultations with the various trade unions on the way forward with respect to the reversal of benchmark value reduction policy.
The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) who have vehemently advocated for the maintenance of the policy is admonishing its leadership and other parties including the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to settle for a win-win situation for all stakeholders including government.
The GUTA president, Dr. Joseph Obeng told GhanaWeb, the association is entering into negotiations with an objective standpoint and not an entrenched position.
“GUTA will put aside our entrenched position on this matter as we begin broader consultation with the government. In the final analysis, this must be a win for Ghana and not the AGI or GUTA,” he stated.
“We would like to express gratitude to president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for heeding to our plea and are we are humbled by the president’s action”
Earlier, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) asked government to remain staunch in its decision to implement the reversal of the benchmark value reduction policy.
According to them if the policy is maintained at its current form, local industries will collapse and jobs will be lost.
Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, President of AGI, in his address to journalists in Accra on Monday, 10th January 2022, said, “maintaining the benchmark discount policy would not support the country’s industrial transformation agenda initiatives such as One District One Factory, Planting for Food and Jobs, fertilizer subsidy and the export development agenda.
The benchmark value discount policy was introduced by the government in 2019, in accordance with the World Customs Organisation policy of regular review of valuation database.
So far, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has suspended the implementation of the reversal of discounts on benchmark values until further notice.
In a statement issued on Thursday, January 13, 2022, the authority said the decision is to enable further engagements with all the relevant stakeholders.
“Following the outcome of a meeting held on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, the Customs Division of GRA has been directed to suspend the implementation of government’s policy directive on the removal or reduction of values of imports on selected items until further notice, to enable more engagements with all the relevant stakeholders,” part of the statement said.
President Akufo-Addo had earlier directed the Customs Division of the GRA to hold on with the implementation of the reversal to create more room for broader stakeholder consultations on the subject, which was due to have concluded on January 17, 2022.